ARLINGTON, VA – The construction industry continues to suffer from significant declines in privately-funded construction investments, declining by 20.6% between September 2008 and September 2009, according to the Associated General Contractors of America, quoting U.S. Census Bureau figures.

“These figures show just how dire business conditions are for the nation’s contractors and their 6 million-plus employees,” said Stephen Sandherr, the association’s CEO. “The only green shoots contractors are seeing are the weeds sprouting around their idle construction equipment.”

The federal figures show that the annualized rate of private construction spending declined from $774 billion a year in September 2008 to $614 billion a year in September 2009, Sandherr said. On the nonresidential side, construction spending declined 37.4% for lodging, 33.3% for offices and 36.0% for commercial structures over the past 12 months. Publicly-funded investments in construction increased 6.1% over the past year, from $308 billion to $326 billion. Sandherr noted that public spending on commercial facilities and power structures grew the most.

The AGCA joined the National Association of Home Builders and other groups with a vested interest in a more vital construction industry in calling for Congress to extend the first-time home buyers tax credit.

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