Construction's unemployment rate rose in January, to 22.5% from December's 20.7%, partly reflecting the industry's usual winter slowdown, but was improved from January 2010's 24.7% rate.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest monthly employment snapshot, released on Feb. 4, also shows that construction lost 32,000 jobs in January, on a seasonally adjusted basis. About two-thirds of those losses came in the nonresidential specialty trade contractors segment.
BLS said another possible factor contributing to construction's January job losses was the severe weather in parts of the U.S. last month.
One encouraging sign in the latest numbers was that January was the fourth-consecutive month in which construction's jobless rate was lower than in the year-earlier months.
Nevertheless, construction continues to post the worst unemployment rate among U.S. industries. Agriculture recorded the second-highest rate, at 16%.
Among construction sectors, all segments recorded job losses in January, except for residential specialty trade contractors, which gained 6,700, BLS said.
The BLS monthly unemployment rates for construction and other industries do not reflect seasonal variations. Construction's rates tend to hit their peaks in winter months, as the work volume declines.
The overall U.S. employment picture brightened last month as the national jobless rate dropped to 9.0%, from 9.4% in December, BLS reported.
|Note: Rates are not seasonally adjusted. |
Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics