Construction’s unemployment rate rose slightly in October to 17.3% from September’s 17.2%, but the good news was that it was better than October 2009’s 18.7% rate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest monthly employment report, released on Nov. 5, also shows that construction posted an increase in jobs for the month, though the gain was only 5,000. October marks only the second month so far this year that the industry’s unemployment rate improved from 2009’s levels. BLS says that, in October, non-residential specialty trade contractors added 7,300 jobs and heavy-civil construction’s workforce rose by 4,800. On the negative side, the
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.