COVID-19 Ravages March Construction Employment
COVID-19 has ravaged employment nationwide and if further proof was necessary, the construction industry declined by 29,000 jobs in March. A recent report from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) revealed the dramatic drop, which included the loss of 24,600 nonresidential construction jobs.
With a March unemployment rate of nearly 7%, the construction industry has ended its "lengthiest expansion in American economic history," ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said in the report. After breaking down nonresidential construction jobs, the report showed a decline of 10,700 jobs in nonresidential building, 10,200 jobs in heavy and civil engineering and 3,700 jobs in nonresidential specialty trade.
"While the March jobs report is horrific, ending a 113-month streak of employment gains, it is clear that employment reports in future months are likely to be even worse," Basu said in the report. "What remains unclear is the extent to which estimated construction employment declines are due to mandated suspension of projects in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California and elsewhere, and how much of this is due to the emergence of recessionary forces."
Unfortunately, he noted, the future of construction employment is up in the air until the pandemic comes to a close.
—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate