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Construction employment shrinks in 49 states

Construction employment declined in the District of Columbia and every state except South Dakota in April, an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of new government data shows.

At the same time, the association released a new survey that finds that rising project cancellations are forcing many firms to furlough or terminate employees even as federal relief measures help avoid further job losses.

The “state employment report shows how widespread and deep the job losses have been among construction workers, despite a smattering of new or accelerated projects,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said in a statement. “Meanwhile, our latest survey indicates that the paycheck loan program has enabled some companies to retain or add workers for now, but that relief will expire soon if not extended.”

The economist said the loss of 975,000 construction jobs, or 13 percent, nationwide from March to April pushed down industry employment to multi-year lows in many states. New York experienced the largest construction job loss over the month (166,200 jobs). South Dakota was the only state to add construction jobs over the month (500 jobs).

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