The construction industry's unemployment rate soared to 25% in 2010, although that figure has since dropped to about 9%. "Unemployed construction workers have left the industry, either to go back to school, retire or maybe leave the country. They're no longer sitting at home waiting for a contractor to call them," said Ken Simonson, chief economist for Associated General Contractors of America. He said it will be "extremely difficult" for the industry to return to the state it was in in 2006 or 2007.
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