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Continued layoffs prompt AGC’s call for quick release of stimulus money


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1 million construction workers have lost their jobs in the last 12 months, including 76,000 in July, prompting the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) to call for a speedy disbursement of federal stimulus funds.

“These job figures clearly point towards the continued need for investment in the construction industry,” said Stephen Sandherr, AGC’s chief executive officer. “With stimulus funds slowly being spent, it is critical that both Congress and the administration focus on hastening the disbursement of these funds, particularly for non-transportation stimulus construction projects.”

Though the stimulus package has helped prevent even greater job losses, Sandherr said, 18.2 percent of construction workers are currently unemployed, making a quick distribution of stimulus money integral to alleviating further layoffs. “It is crucial that the stimulus money quickly finds its way into the industry, or thousands more construction workers will lose their jobs,” he said.

Sandherr pointed to a low demand for commercial facilities, a dwindling number of orders for new office buildings, declining state and local tax revenues and “the current economic conditions as a whole, including tight credit markets” as the primary impediments to the construction industry’s revival.

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