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Idaho construction jobs hold steady in February

The bad news is that the construction industry didn’t add any jobs in Idaho in February, but the good news is that it didn’t lose any, either.
Idaho is one of 15 states that didn’t lose construction jobs between January and February 2010, according to numbers from the Associated General Contractors of America. New Hampshire added the greatest percentage, 5.5 percent (1,200 jobs). At the bottom of the chain, Washington, D.C., lost 11.1 percent of its construction employment (also 1,200 jobs).
But when compared with February a year ago, only one state managed to add construction jobs: Alaska gained 100 jobs, or 0.6 percent.
Idaho’s performance was worse than 43 states, losing 18.4 percent (6,900) of its construction jobs between February 2009 and February 2010. Nevada ranked last, losing 27.8 percent.
With construction job losses extending into their third year, the AGC is advocating an expansion of the Build America Bond program.
“With only one exception, the construction jobs picture varies from bleak to bad all across the country,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said in a release. “We can’t afford to turn our back on any opportunity to boost investments in infrastructure and construction.”
“In terms of boosting employment, supporting the economy and repairing our aging infrastructure, infrastructure bonds are about as low hanging fruit as you get,” AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr added. “Expanding these programs won’t fix all our problems, but it will give workers new opportunities and our businesses a competitive edge.”

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