US construction lost nearly a million jobs in April

A survey by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and data from construction technology firm Procore has found that 975,000 construction workers in the US lost their jobs in April 2020.

The AGC said the findings highlighted the need for government action to protect workers’ livelihoods, maintain infrastructure funding and exempt employers from liability if an employee catches the coronavirus.

The association’s data found that unemployment among those with recent construction experience rose by 1.1 million over the past year, reaching 1,531,000, and that unemployment in the sector rose to 17% from 5% in April 2019.

The job losses were smallest in southern states, where 29% of companies in its survey cut jobs, compared with 38% of firms in the Midwest and 45% in the West.

Ken Simonson, the AGC’s chief economist, said: "Today’s jobs report, our new survey results and Procore’s data make it clear that the construction industry is not immune to the economic damage being inflicted on our country by the pandemic.

"Without new federal help, it is hard to see a scenario where the construction industry will be able to recover any time soon."

Image: Construction site in California (Scott Blake/Unsplash)

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