Construction employers see negatives in jobs report
Congress must boost infrastructure spending, group says
While the overall U.S. remains strong, the construction industry is not fully benefitting from the nation’s overall gains, an industry group says.
The Construction Employers of America noted that while the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added 213,000 jobs in June, construction added 13,000 — a figure it calls disappointing.
“Once again, the construction industry is not benefiting proportionally from national job gains,” said Jack Jacobson, spokesman for the group whose members include the Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors’ National Association and the Mechanical Contractors Association of America. “Specialty construction employment has risen less than half a percent since February, during our peak spring and summer construction months, lagging behind other sectors of the economy. The Trump administration and Congress need to work to directly fund construction projects and spur private sector investment in infrastructure and building construction.”
The association urged movement on federal bills that would boost infrastructure spending.
“Construction employment is holding steady, but not making the gains we would expect in a strong and growing economy,” Jacobson added. “Congress and the president need to take construction stagnation seriously and act this year to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, pass all 13 appropriations bills that fund important public works projects, and take up a meaningful infrastructure package that injects significant federal resources into critical and transformational infrastructure projects that can revitalize our economy.”