Construction’s unemployment rate dipped to 16.3% in May, down from April’s 17.8% rate and an improvement over the 20.1% unemployment rate registered in May 2010, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite the decline, construction’s unemployment rate is still the highest among all U.S. industries. In the face of a deepening recession, the construction industry only managed to add 2,000 jobs in May, according to the BLS. The overall U.S. unemployment rate for all industries was 9.1% in May.
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.