Construction's unemployment rate rose slightly in October, to 17.3% from September's 17.2%, but the good news was that it was better than October 2009's 18.7%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest monthly employment report, released on Nov. 5, also shows that construction posted an increase in jobs for the month, though the gain was only 5,000. The BLS jobless rate figures for individual industries are not adjusted for seasonal swings. For the highly seasonal construction industry, the rates usually worsen in cold-weather months, when work slows down. Thus, the year-over-year comparisons give a better picture of construction employment trends than
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.