construction industry pandemic job losses pale compared to other industries, says new report
Job losses as a result of the pandemic economic shutdown have been overwhelmingly confined to the nation’s service industries, according to a new report released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The report, Latest Job Market Data Shows the Uneven Impacts of a K-Shaped Recovery on US Industries, reveals that in terms of the number of jobs lost this year, just 3.7% were in the construction industry.
That number compares favorably with the 10.8% lost in the goods-producing industry, 11.9% in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, and a gigantic 35.8% within the leisure and hospitality industry.
Increasingly, economists are looking at the late 2020 recovery as one that it K-shaped, in the sense that some industries, on the top part of the K, are doing better, while those on the bottom part of the K continue to struggle.
According to Curtis Dubay, a senior economist with the Chamber, goods-producing industries have overall lost “about 6% of their workforce since February, mining and logging is down almost 14%.”
Much deeper job losses have seen in the motion picture and sound recording industry, which is now down by a massive 50%, the performing arts and spectator sports sector, off by 46%, and the scenic sightseeing transportation field, with a 43% job loss.
Within the construction industry, the job losses have been the greatest, at 8.1%, in the heavy and civil engineering sector; followed by nonresidential specialty trade contractors, with a 7.1% decline; and the nonresidential building sector at 6.7%.
Construction job losses were the most minimal in the residential specialty trade contractors sector at 3.1%; and residential building, at 2.5%.
Dubay posits that the ongoing presence of the K-shaped recovery is going to require Congress to “craft a targeted relief package in its phase four bill.”
That legislation, continued Dubay, “will need to aid those industries at the bottom of the K, because these industries are likely to lag behind as long as the pandemic persists.”
By Garry Boulard
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