Construction's unemployment rate moved down slightly in August but remains highest among all industries.
Construction's unemployment rate edged downward in August, to 17.3%, from 17% in July, but it was slightly worse than the August 2009 level, reports the U.S. Labor Dept.'s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
BLS's latest monthly look at the nation's employment picture, released on Sept. 3, says that construction added 19,000 jobs in August, but noted that 10,000 of the jobs gained were workers who returned after a strike in July.
Although BLS doesn't say so, it's likely that some or most of those workers were involved in a major Chicago strike earlier this summer.
The August figure represents the second straight monthly improvement in construction's jobless rate and is down significantly from the February peak of 27.1%.
But the industry rates are not adjusted for seasonal swings and construction's employment picture tends to improve in the summer months, when the volume of building rises.
So far, the industry's 2010 jobless rates have been worse than 2009's in every month except July. The August, 2010 level of 17.3% represents an increase from August, 2009's 16.5%.
Construction's rate also remains the highest among industry sectors. It is significantly worse than the mining/quarrying/oil and gas, which was second-highest among industries, posting a 10.9% rate in August and leisure/hospitality, which ranked third, at 10.8%.
More broadly, BLS reported that the overall national jobless rate rose to 9.6% in August, from 9.5% in the previous month as total non-farm employment declined by 54,000.
The government sector lost 121,000 jobs in the month, including 114,000 temporary workers hired for the census. Those losses were partly offset by the private sector, which added 67,000 jobs in August.
|Note: Rates are not seasonally adjusted. |
Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics