Strong Job Gains Belie Construction Employment Weaknesses

Federal Action on Tax, Infrastructure Legislation Imperative

Washington, DC – The Bureau of Labor Statistics today released July’s employment statistics. While the economy continued to expand, construction job growth was weaker than expected, contracting in some cases. Specialty trade construction continued to dominate the construction industry, but added only 1,200 jobs.

“To see construction job gains this small during the summer is alarming,” said Jack Jacobson, spokesperson for Construction Employers of America. “Nonresidential specialty construction shrunk by nearly 1,000 positions in July. We would expect the opposite if the economy was truly strong and working for everyone.”

CEA has been vocal about the need for Congress to quickly pass robust legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax code and invest in domestic infrastructure projects. Effective tax reform would immediately spur domestic infrastructure investments through repatriation of overseas earnings and pro-growth tax policies to aid small businesses. Stronger enforcement tools to address worker misclassification would have the dual impact of raising federal tax receipts and ensuring blue collar workers receive the unemployment, healthcare, and retirement benefits they’ve earned.

“Congress cannot continue to kick the can down the road,” said Jacobson. “Legislative inaction will cripple our economy. Construction contractors are ready to work on projects to rebuild our airports, roads, and crumbling infrastructure. Congressional inaction is endangering tens of thousands of construction jobs.”

CEA’s seven employer associations include FCA International, International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, National Electrical Contractors Association, Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association, Signatory Wall and Ceiling Contractors Alliance, and The Association of Union Constructors. Our impact on the American economy is significant. We represent over 15,000 employers and 1.4 million employees nationwide. More information about CEA and our issues can be found online at

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