Related Links: Bureau of Labor Statistics release, with tables Analysis from Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist Analysis from Anirban Basu, ABC chief economist Construction's unemployment rate dropped sharply in April, to 14.5% from 17.2% in March, although the industry shed 2,000 jobs. Last month's construction jobless rate also was far below the April 2011 level of 17.8%, continuing a long string of year-over-year declines. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest monthly report on employment trends, released on May 4, showed that the job losses last month in construction's buildings and nonresidential specialty trades sectors outweighed the gains in the heavy-civil
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.