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Noah Smith

Construction Is Holding Back the Economy

Changes in contracts and rules could make the sector a lot more efficient.
Needs improvement.

Needs improvement.

Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images

The question of whether to prioritize jobs or economic efficiency is always difficult. Nowhere is this more of a dilemma than in the construction industry.

In a world of rapid technological disruption, construction is a rock of solidity to which many blue-collar workers can cling. The industry still employs about 7 million workers in the U.S.: