Construction's unemployment rate continued to decline in May, dipping to 16.3%, from April's 17.8%, and also was a significant drop from May 2010's level of 20.1%. But construction's rate still is the highest among U.S. industries.The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest monthly employment report, released on June 3, shows that construction did gain jobs last month, but only 2,000, according to preliminary figures. "At the current rate of growth, the construction industry will continue to experience double-digit unemployment rates for a long time," said Ken Simonson, the Associated General Contractors' chief economist. Related Links: Newest Labor Dept. Employment Report Simonson
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.