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Jobs report underscores urgency of infrastructure stimulus, AGC says


November 11, 2008
By Administrator

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November 11, 2008 – Washington, D.C.—“Today’s unemployment report–grim reading on all
counts–is especially bad for construction and shows the urgency of
enacting infrastructure spending as part of a stimulus bill,” Ken
Simonson,

Washington, D.C.—“Today’s unemployment report–grim reading on all
counts–is especially ba or construction and shows the urgency of
enacting infrastructure spending as part of a stimulus bill,” Ken
Simonson, Chief Economist for The Associated General Contractors of
America (AGC), said today following a Bureau of Labor Statistics report
that showed the unemployment rate for construction workers jumped to
10.8 percent last month. “Construction had–by far–the highest
unemployment rate of any industry and the largest increase, up from 6.1
percent a year ago,” Simonson noted. “The industry accounted for nearly
half of the million-plus jobs lost throughout the economy in the past
12 months.”

“Many of those losses have been in heavy and civil engineering
construction–highways and other public works,” Simonson observed.
“Those workers could quickly be re-employed if the states had enough
money to award contracts for projects they have ready to go. Contrary
to some assertions, this money would quickly make its way into the
economy, supporting equipment and materials manufacturing and services
jobs as well as construction. State officials say they have thousands
of projects ready to award without long delays.

“AGC urges Congress to act this month on a stimulus package that
includes funding for highway, bridge and other infrastructure work,”
Simonson stated. “In addition, the new Administration and Congress
should give a high priority to renewing long-term highway, airport,
water and wastewater funding bills next year.

“This is a great time for both public agencies and private owners to go
ahead with construction,” Simonson concluded. “Many materials costs
have tumbled since last summer, and there are plenty of skilled
contractors ready to bid for work.”

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the largest and
oldest national construction trade association in the United States.
AGC represents more than 33,000 firms, including 7,500 of America’s
leading general contractors, and over 12,500 specialty-contracting
firms. More than 13,000 service providers and suppliers are associated
with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters. Visit the AGC Web
site at www.agc.org.

Contact: Monica Cardenas
(703) 837-5364
cardenasm@agc.org 
Ken Simonson
(703) 837-5313
simonsonk@agc.org