Construction's unemployment rate continued downward in May, its third-straight monthly improvement, despite a loss of 35,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. In its latest monthly employment report, released on June 4, BLS said construction's May jobless rate dipped to 20.1%, from April's 21.8%. But the rate for last month still exceeded the May 2009 mark of 19.2%. Ken Simonson, Associated General Contractors' chief economist, noted that it was the worst May rate for construction since 1976, when BLS began that statistical series. Moreover, construction's 21.8% rate remains the highest among industry sectors and is well above the second-worst
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.