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Construction industry cuts more workers

Employment in the nonresidential construction industry fell by 13,000 jobs in September, according to the Oct. 2 employment report by the U.S. Labor Department. Since Sept. 2008, the nonresidential construction sector has lost 107,800 jobs, or 13 percent, and now stands at 710,700.

The pace of job loss in heavy and civil engineering construction employment has been similar to the pace of job loss in nonresidential construction. Heavy and civil engineering construction shed 11,900 jobs for the month and 123,800, or 12.9 percent, from the same time last year. Nonresidential specialty trade contractor employment fell by 25,900 jobs in September and is down 418,200, or 16.4 percent, on a year-over-year basis.

The residential construction sector lost 7,400 jobs in September and has lost 128,700 jobs, or 16 percent, from a year ago. Overall, construction employment fell by 64,000 last month and is approaching 1.1 million jobs, or 15.3 percent, lost since September 2008.

Overall, total national employment shrank by 263,000 jobs in September and is down 5.785 million jobs, or 4.2 percent, compared to Sept. 2008.

“The pace of job loss in September was greater than the 12-month average, which indicates that the nonresidential construction sector continues to take a beating,” said Associated Builders and Contractors chief economist Anirban Basu.

“The implication of today’s report is that construction employment is not poised to recover anytime soon. Though construction clearly benefits from the addition of infrastructure monies as part of February’s stimulus package, this financial assistance does not appear to be enough to offset the persistent tight credit market and the lack of demand for new retail, lodging, office and other space.”

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