In a troubling sign for construction, the industry’s unemployment rate showed no improvement in June after three straight monthly declines as the industry lost 22,000 jobs during the month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The bureau’s employment report for June, released on July 2, showed that construction’s jobless rate for the month was 20.1%, the same as May’s level, but worse than the June 2009’s 17.4%. Anirban Basu, the Associated Builders and Contractors’ chief economist, says, for construction, “it is clear that this represents another disappointing jobs report.” The total number of construction unemployed fell from 2.44 million in
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.