Only 20 states and Washington, D.C., added construction jobs in November compared with last year; the other 30 states shed jobs, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. "While construction spending has been rising for over a year, contractors have held down employment levels out of fear that failure in Washington to avoid the 'fiscal cliff' will trigger a recession and cause many projects to be canceled," said Ken Simonson, the AGC's chief economist. "If the nation can get past this unnecessary, self-induced crisis, there should be a strong upswing in construction hiring in 2013."

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