Construction's unemployment rate rose slightly in October, to 17.3% from September's 17.2%, but the good news was that it was better than October 2009's 18.7%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest monthly employment report, released on Nov. 5, also shows that construction posted an increase in jobs for the month, though the gain was only 5,000.
The BLS jobless rate figures for individual industries are not adjusted for seasonal swings. For the highly seasonal construction industry, the rates usually worsen in cold-weather months, when work slows down.
Thus, the year-over-year comparisons give a better picture of construction employment trends than the month-to-month changes do.
October marks only the second month so far this year that the industry's unemployment rate improved from 2009 levels.
Nevertheless, construction still recorded the highest jobless rate among major U.S. industry sectors last month. The leisure and hospitality category ranked second-highest, at 11.1%, followed by agriculture at 11.0%.
Looking at construction segments, BLS said that for October, nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 7,300 jobs and heavy-civil construction's workforce rose by 4,800.
On the negative side, the buildings construction and residential specialty trades segments both posted job losses for October.
BLS said the the overall national jobless rate remained at 9.6% in October, the same level as in the previous two months.
|Note: Rates are not seasonally adjusted. |
Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics