Construction's unemployment rate continues to rise, reaching a grim 27.1% in February, its highest level in a decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.

In its latest monthly employment report, released on March 5, BLS says that construction's jobless rate last month was up from 24.7% in January and also represented an increase from the February 2009 mark of 21.4%.

BLS reports that construction shed another 64,000 jobs in February, bringing the industry's total job losses since December 2007 to 1.9 million.

The BLS construction jobless rate isn't adjusted for seasonal variations. In the highly seasonal construction industry, even in strong economic times, February tends to be one of the slowest months and that month's jobless rates are relatively high.

Nevertheless, construction's February 2010 unemployment level is its worst monthly figure since 2000, topping the previous high set just one month earlier. In 2000, BLS changed its methodology for classifying industries.

Under BLS's pre-2000 classification system, construction's peak jobless rate since 1948 was February 1983's 27.3%.

The overall national unemployment rate remained at 9.7% in February, the same as the January level.

Construction Unemployment Rate
Month Rate in % (percent)
February 27.1%
January 24.7%
December 22.7%
November 19.4%
October 18.7%
Spetember 17.1%
August 16.5
July 18.2
June 17.4
May 19.2
April 18.7
March 21.1
February 21.4
January 18.2
Note: Rates are not seasonally adjusted.
Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics