Despite an increasing number of federal stimulus projects under way, construction’s unemployment rate rose in September as the industry lost 64,000 more jobs. Industry officials say the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been a help but has not halted construction’s continued huge layoffs.
The industry’s September jobless rate climbed to 17.1%, from 16.5% in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Oct. 2. Construction’s rate remains the highest among industries. The 17.1% mark also was well above the industry’s September 2008 level of 9.9%. Since the recession began in December 2007, construction has shed 1.5 million jobs, though average monthly job losses fell to 66,000 in the May-September period, from 117,000 in the November-April period.