Construction Unemployment Hits 27 Percent, ABC Says Current Job Situation “Unacceptable”

Washington, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) 2010 National Chairman Jim Elmer, president of James W. Elmer Construction, Spokane, Wash., today issued the following statement on the latest construction industry employment data released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“More than one-quarter of the nation’s construction workforce is now unemployed,” said Elmer. “Yet, Congress and the president continue to consider ‘jobs legislation’ that will have little or no effect on the construction industry. This is unacceptable.

“It’s unconscionable that Congress and the administration are increasing the tax burden and government mandates on an industry that is suffering an unemployment rate of 27.1 percent – nearly three times the national average.

“Now is the time for Congress and the president to act immediately to free up lending, increase access to financial capital and decrease the tax burden on the construction industry before it is too late,” Elmer said.

On March 2, ABC released its Construction Jobs Creation Proposal that includes the following recommendations: eliminating uncertainty in the business environment by calling on Congress and the administration to focus on free-enterprise initiatives and open competition instead of anti-business legislative and regulatory proposals; increasing access to capital for new construction projects and viable, low-risk projects that simply need funding in order for work to commence; providing meaningful tax relief and reducing the tax burden on hard-working Americans and small businesses; enacting a national comprehensive energy plan that includes new construction and upgrades to the nation’s insufficient and crumbling infrastructure; allowing the entire construction industry workforce to participate on federally funded or federally assisted projects; and supporting construction training programs that will attract new skilled workers.
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