Labor Construction Unemployment Stuck at 17.7%, Despite GainsThe construction industry's unemployment rate increased in January to 17.7% from December's 16%, but it was much lower than the 22.5% rate a year earlier, says the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency's Feb. 3 monthly employment update showed construction gaining a further 21,000 jobs in January, after adding 31,000 in December 2011. That brings the industry's total employment to its highest level in two years.Ken Simonson, Associated General Contractors of America chief economist, notes that the increases over the past two months came during unusually mild winter weather. Albuquerque Loses Lawsuit Over
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.