â€śWe canâ€™t afford to let the men and women who build Americaâ€™s backbone â€“ its roads, bridges, energy and water systems, and its schools â€“ be left behind as the economic recovery continuesâ€ť
On Friday the U.S. Labor Department reported that the jobs situation in the construction industry â€“ a key driver of the U.S. economy â€“ improved slightly for the second consecutive month, while still lagging behind other sectors. The number of construction jobs increased by 14,000, but construction unemployment still remained near Depression-era levels at 21.8 percent. Currently, more than 1.9 million construction workers are still looking for work.
Terry Oâ€™Sullivan, General President of the Laborersâ€™ International Union of North America (LIUNA) made the following statement today regarding the jobs report:
Two straight months of job growth is undoubtedly a good thing for the millions of construction workers struggling to get by. Still, the numbers show that unemployment in this vital area of the economy is far, far higher than almost any other part of the labor force.
We canâ€™t afford to let the men and women who build Americaâ€™s basics â€“ its roads, bridges, energy and water systems, and its schools â€“ be left behind as the economic recovery continues. If we do so, it wonâ€™t just be construction workers who pay the price â€“ it will also be paid by everyone as our basic needs go neglected.
Itâ€™s time for Congress to take this problem seriously and invest in building America. Letâ€™s pass a comprehensive highway bill. Letâ€™s modernize our aging water resources facilities, our schools and our energy systems. And letâ€™s put men and women back to work while leaving a legacy that will last for generations and allow our country to compete in the 21st century.