The jobs report for July released by the Department of Labor on August 6 found that there were 11,000 jobs lost in the construction industry between June and July 2010, raising that key industry’s unemployment rate to 17.3%, compared to an overall jobless rate of 9.5%.

The overall report found a decline of 131,000 jobs for the nation in July, as a 71,000-job increase in private-sector payrolls was more than offset by a decline in Federal government employment, including the loss of 143,000 temporary U.S. Census workers.

Commenting on the construction industry job loss, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA), the construction industry trade association, noted that July was the third consecutive month of construction employment declines. In a statement, Stephen Sandherr, AGCA’s CEO, said “The fact that this industry continues to suffer from unemployment rates nearly double the national average is a reflection of how much demand for construction has cratered in little more than two years.”

Moreover, Sandherr said in the same statement that since July 2008, construction employment has declined by a total of 1,591,000 jobs, or 22%. “Worse yet,” said Sandherr, “there’s every indication that as the benefits of the stimulus fade the industry’s employment picture will get even worse.”