Construction’s unemployment rate posted its second consecutive monthly decline, even as the industry added 14,000 jobs in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported. BLS’s latest monthly employment report, released on May 5, showed construction’s April jobless rate improved to 21.8% from March’s 24.9%. However, much of the improvement was seasonal as construction activity started to improve with the weather. Discounting the seasonality, construction unemployment in April was still the highest in over a decade. Last month’s rate fell well above last April’s 18.7% rate as well as the 8.7% average rate for April between 2000 and 2008. Construction’s
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.