Sent to me by Sally W.
Does this make our unemployment rate at 25% plus?
Sent: Sat, Mar 31, 2012 8:03 pm
Subject: State of Construction
From the American Thinker website:
March 31, 2012
By Randall T. Perks
Let's take a look at national construction employment. According to
the latest available data (February, 2012) from the Bureau of Labor
Statistics Construction Sector website, national construction
employment peaked in April 2006 at 7,726,000 workers. Today,
construction employment stands at 5,554,000 workers. Over the last six
years, 2,172,000 construction jobs have been lost. The decline is
actually larger, given that the undocumented workforce is prevalent on
construction jobsites but not in government records.
Looking at the construction un-employment rate is a far more deceptive
thing. Beginning with a few definitions, let's take a look at the BLS
national construction statistics. As BLS defines it, "[t]he
unemployment rate represents the number of unemployed as a percent of
the labor force[,]" and "[t]he labor force is the sum of employed and
According to BLS, the national unemployment rate in the construction
industry peaked in February 2010 at 27.1% with 5,533,000 employees.
Two years later, in February 2012, the official construction
unemployment rate has fallen to 17.1% with 5,554,000 employees. Given
the construction unemployment rate and construction employees, we can
calculate the labor force and the number of unemployed, as seen below.
Over the past 24 months, the government's official construction
unemployment rate has dropped by 10%, and reported construction
employment has grown by 21,000 jobs. However, in order to drop 10% off
the unemployment rate, 890,211 workers have been removed from the
construction labor force, and 911,211 previously unemployed
construction workers have disappeared from the ranks of the unemployed,
which now numbers 1,145,638.
BLS Unemployment Rate Construction Industry
BLS Current Construction Employment
Construction Labor Force (Calculated)
Unemployed Workers (Calculated)
The individual state construction employment figures reveal similar
destruction. After downloading the most recent (January 2012) BLS
historical construction employment data for all 49 states (Nebraska
does not provide this data, and several other states combine
Construction with Mining & Logging), we see that construction
employment in most states reached all-time highs in either 1996 or
1997. Two notable exceptions are North Dakota, the only state that has
gained construction jobs under Obama, due primarily to oil and gas
development, and Michigan, in decline since 2000.
Looking back from January 2007, the ten states which have withstood the
construction employment collapse best include:
+ 35.6 %
The ten states which have suffered the worst construction job loss
For the years January 2007 through January 2012, the following
o Four states -- Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and New York --
reached new lows in construction employment last month.
o Thirteen states -- Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky,
Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas,
South Dakota, and Wisconsin -- have reached new lows in construction
employment in the last three months.
o Eighteen states have reached new lows in construction employment
within the past six months.
o Twenty-nine states have reached new lows in construction employment
in the past year.
o Ten states are within 1% of new lows in construction employment.
o Twenty-eight states are within 5% of new lows in construction
o Forty-four states are within 10% of new lows in construction
o Twenty-one states have fewer construction workers today than in
1990, 22 years ago.
As the statistics above indicate, this is not recovery. The
devastation of the construction industry is directly tied to the real
estate collapse -- a collapse created almost entirely by poor
government policy. What had historically been a stable and dependable
foundation of the American dream is in shambles. With trillions of
dollars of real estate value lost and 25% of homeowners underwater,
recovery won't come quickly.
Our government's war on energy production and the environmental
regulatory war on critical products including cement, mining,
quarrying, trucks, steel, chemicals, water and air use, noise, dust,
demolition, and disposal continue to raise costs and destroy jobs.
Material supply and fabrication have been shipped overseas. Go-green
LEED standards can double construction costs to resolve problems which
never existed. Zoning and permitting have often been taken over by
environmentalists. Obama's war on prosperity, the world's highest
corporate tax rates, and a government debt larger than all of our money
ever created further impede the industry. I can picture solar panels,
windmills, and algae ponds in every backyard.
In 2009, Democrats gave us the $840,000,000,000.00 American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act. The construction industry was said to be the
single largest beneficiary of the spending frenzy, with a projected
678,000 construction jobs created. Like most everything else run by
government, it did not quite work as they told us. As Rush has said,
it was just a little-less-than-a-trillion-dollar Democrat slush fund.
Government was, is, and will remain the problem, not a solution.
The two million-plus construction jobs lost are real. These were
workers who actually produced something in America. The strongest,
most capable producers in society have been reduced by 30%. Unlike
when the BLS statistician deletes one million people from the workforce
and pretends that they no longer exist, these workers remain out
there. As the industry continues in decline, the long-term
consequences remain unknown. You can't take one third of an industry
and hit "delete" without negative consequences arising somewhere. Here
we have an early look at the fundamental transformation of America at