Jobs Up but Construction Workers Down
While the unemployment rate dropped to 8.8 last month and 216,000 jobs were added to the overall U.S. economy, the construction industry in America remains "mired in a Depression-like state," according to LIUNA -- the Laborers' International Union of North America.
The union is going by the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor, which show that while the number of jobs in the construction industry declined slightly, the unemployment rate in the industry fell to 20 percent -- indicating many construction workers have given up looking for work after years of uninterrupted decline. Nearly 1.7 million men and women in the construction industry are unable to find work.
"Stagnation in the construction industry needs to serve as a reminder that our country is still not on the path to a true recovery," says Terry O'Sullivan, LIUNA general president. "It's time that leaders in Washington did what they were elected to do: build our country, create desperately needed jobs and ensure America remains a global leader."
O'Sullivan says the government has the power to remedy the situation. "Congress can begin to solve this problem by getting to work on a new surface transportation bill that would create millions of jobs and invest in our basic needs, such as roads and bridges, and leave behind a positive legacy for taxpayers and future generations." This proved effective in the 1930s, when programs like these helped lift the nation out of the Great Depression.
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