Construction unemployment rate increases to 18.8 percent

The unemployment rate for the construction sector jumped from 17.3 percent in October to 18.8 percent in November as 5,000 jobs were lost, according to This is the highest unemployment rate of any industry and about double the national unemployment rate.

Data released by the Associated General Contractors of America indicates the construction sector has suffered more than any other industry during the recession.

"The unemployment report shows construction still has not broken free of the recession that has gripped the industry since 2006," says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. "Other than the stimulus and other temporary federal programs, it has been a pretty bleak four years for the industry."

The construction industry has lost 2.1 million jobs since employment in the sector peaked in August 2006. Since November 2009, the construction sector lost 117,000 jobs while the private sector added more than 1 million jobs.

Heavy and civil engineering construction—which has benefited from the economic stimulus package, military base realignment and Gulf Coast hurricane-prevention projects—has been the only part of the construction sector to add jobs during the past year. Residential construction has lost 79,000 jobs, and nonresidential specialty trade contractors and nonresidential building have lost 62,000 jobs.

Date : 12/6/2010