Construction's unemployment rate rose in January, to 22.5% from December's 20.7%, partly reflecting the industry's usual winter slowdown, but was improved from January 2010's 24.7% rate. Related Links: Read the Employment Report The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest monthly employment snapshot, released on Feb. 4, also shows that construction lost 32,000 jobs in January, on a seasonally adjusted basis. About two-thirds of those losses came in the nonresidential specialty trade contractors segment. BLS said another possible factor contributing to construction's January job losses was the severe weather in parts of the U.S. last month. One encouraging sign in the latest
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.