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Thirty-nine percent of contractors report that project owners have halted or canceled current construction projects amid deteriorating economic conditions, according to a survey released on March 27 by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Association officials warned that these cancellations mean massive job losses are likely soon unless Congress passes targeted recovery measures to boost infrastructure funding, compensate firms for lost or delayed federally funded work and provide needed pension relief. The project cancellations are particularly severe in light of new data showing that 42 states added construction jobs through February.
“The abrupt plunge in economic activity is taking a swift and severe toll on construction,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, noting that only 18 percent of respondents have been ordered to halt work by elected officials. “The sudden drop in demand stands in sharp contrast to the strong employment levels this industry was experiencing just a few weeks ago.”