US construction workforce sees 82,000 jobs cut

By Lindsey Anderson08 December 2008

A worsening US economy has caused deep cuts in the nation's construction workforce, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. About 82,000 jobs were lost in November due to limited and dried-up financing for commercial and residential projects.

While the residential realm of construction has been suffering for more than a year, specialty trade contractors started to feel the pinch last month, losing 50,000 jobs across the board. The BLS reported the lowest overall numbers for construction jobs last month since May 2004, with roughly 6.9 million people currently employed compared to a September 2006 peak of 7.7 million.

The downturn in financing for construction hit commercial projects the hardest last month, creating the biggest losses since 1990, the BLS said. According to the Department of Labor, the last time construction saw such a decline in jobs during a month-long period was February 2007 when 103,000 jobs were cut.

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