Construction’s unemployment rate continued downward in May, its third-straight monthly improvement, as seasonal construction labor markets started to kick in, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Construction Unemployment Rate for May.

BLS says construction’s May jobless rate was 20.1%, down from April’s 21.8%. But May’s rate still exceeded the May 2009 mark of 19.2%, making it the worst May rate for construction unemployment since 1976.

What is perhaps most worrisome about construction’s May figures is the industry’s seasonally adjusted loss of 35,000 jobs, after posting increases in March and April.

�Modest gains we saw earlier this year have been wiped out, and the numbers suggest that many construction workers have simply stopped looking for jobs,� says Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the laborers’ union.