More than a quarter of construction firms cut jobs due to Covid-19

ConDig (08-Apr-20)  More than a quarter of US construction companies have cut or furloughed workers in response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 epidemic, according to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America.

The association reported that 27% of respondents to the survey said they had furloughed or terminated construction workers. An additional 55% reported they had been directed to delay or cancel projects by their clients, while 26% reported they had been directed to stop construction activities by government officials. 

The association’s analysis of metro employment data showed that construction employment increased between February 2019 and February 2020 in 217, or 61%, of metro areas, declined in 89, and held steady in 52.

“The metro-level employment data show that construction was still growing strongly in many parts of the country in February, immediately before the pandemic forced contractors to shut down projects and lay off workers,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. 

“In contrast, our survey, completed less than a week ago, found that a majority of respondents had been told by owners or government agencies to cease work.”

As Construction Dig went to press on April 8, there had been a reported 420,705 cases of coronavirus cases in the US and an alleged 14,369 deaths. 

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