March 9, 2011
Despite a modest uptick in jobs, the construction industry continued to lag far behind the rest of the economy in February, according to the latest U.S. Department of Labor data. The industry added 33,000 jobs in the previous month, but nearly 1.9 million men and women were still unable to find a job. More than one in five workers – 21.8 percent – were out of work.
Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), made the following statement:
“It’s good to see the construction industry adding jobs, but the past three years have taught us that small gains can be wiped out as quickly as they appear. The reality is that until Congress invests in our roads, bridges, and other pressing transportation needs, lasting recovery in the construction industry will not happen.
“As Congress continues to delay taking action, our highways continue to crumble and more bridges fall into disrepair. Inaction means that contractors aren’t hiring or buying equipment and, most importantly, it means that nearly 2 million men and women don’t know how they’ll pay for their groceries, their mortgage, or their medical bills.
“By failing to act, Congress is holding back our economy, our country’s global competitiveness and our working families. It’s time to get moving on legislation that will create millions of good jobs, ensure that our economy continues to recover, and leave behind lasting assets for taxpayers and future generations.”