One indicator of the recession's impact is the loss of work at the front lines of the economy---namely, construction jobs, which were down in Denver by 16 percent in August compared to the same month one year earlier. Statewide, construction jobs were down 14 percent, according to the Associated General Contractors of America in a report cited by the Denver Business Journal . Across the nation, construction unemployment is at 16.5 percent. The numbers represent a "dramatic decrease in construction employment nationally and in Colorado," says Michael Gifford, executive director of the Colorado chapter of the AGC. The trade group is pushing lawmakers for incentives, tax cuts, and infrastructure investments meant to "stem the dramatic decline in construction activity and employment taking place nationwide." Construction accounts for eight percent of the gross domestic product, notes the Fort Collins Coloradoan . The region that's been worst hit, according to the report, is Reno-Sparks in Nevada, which lost 35 percent of its workforce because of the housing-market collapse (via The Associated Press ).