Construction's unemployment rate declined in August to 16.5%-- the industry's lowest jobless rate in eight months--the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Construction's August rate was an improvement over the 18.2% reported for July, but it was more than double the August 2008 rate of 8.2%. Related Links: Read the full BLS release The industry rates are not adjusted for seasonal variations. BLS's latest monthly employment report, released Sept. 4, also showed construction continued to lose jobs, dropping 65,000 in August, seasonally adjusted. That's an improvement over the 76,000 jobs shed in July, but is far from anything approaching an increase
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.