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Unemployment at 20.7%

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Construction’s December unemployment rate rose to 20.7% from November’s 18.8%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Construction’s unemployment rate averaged 20.6% for all 2010, which was above 2009’s 19.0% rate and 2008’s 10.6% rate. A worrisome sign is that the industry lost a further 16,000 jobs in December. That measurement is seasonally adjusted; therefore, the downturn, with nearly all construction sectors showing job losses for the month, cannot be attributed to the industry’s usual fall and winter slowdown. Economists worry about the employment impact of the waning federal construction funding from the 2009 stimulus act, which is credited with preserving or creating hundreds of thousands of construction jobs.


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