Industry sources say the recent uptick in construction jobs will
likely be fleeting since it is based on federal stimulus dollars that
will soon dry up.
"There are few signs of life in privately funded construction, and state and local budget deficit projections are forcing further cuts in non-stimulus public projects," said Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America, in prepared remarks.
Simonson's organization analyzed data from the Labor Department released on Friday and found that 26 states showed gains in construction jobs over the past month, compared to 19 states in June. The analysis also showed that the job loss data was less severe in July.
Simonson called the gains "encouraging" but said he sees little on the horizon that will keep these workers employed over the longer term.
"Encouraging as it is to see some modest signs of progress, it is increasingly unlikely we'll keep seeing these kinds of gains over the next few months," he said. "There is little to indicate that construction will be adding workers to a significant extent any time soon."
To keep construction workers employed, the association has called on Congress to pass legislation that would improve the country's infrastructure.
Stephen Sandherr, the association's CEO, claims that passage of these bills would keep the country competitive and continue the job gains created by the stimulus.
"Continued neglect of our aging infrastructure will damage our economic competitiveness and plunge the construction industry into another cycle of layoffs and hardship," he said in prepared remarks.