Construction’s February unemployment rate of 21.8% showed improvement over January’s 22.5% rate and was a substantial drop from February 2010’s 27.1%, but the industry’s jobless level remains the highest among U.S. industries, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

Released on March 4, the BLS report shows that construction gained 33,000 jobs in February. However, BLS notes that the industry’s February pickup in jobs followed a January loss of 22,000 jobs, which “may have reflected severe winter weather.”

Jobs increased in February in all construction segments, except non-residential building, which had a loss of 2,000 jobs. Specialty trade contractors gained 27,700, and heavy-civil construction jobs rose by 4,500 in the month.

Nevertheless, construction again posted the worst monthly unemployment rate among major industries. The BLS rates for construction and other industries are not adjusted for seasonal variations. Construction’s unemployment rate peaks in winter months, when building slows in much of the country.

Construction Unemployment Rate (%)
February 21.8
January 22.5
December 20.7
November 18.8
October 17.3
September 17.2
August 17.0
July 17.3
June 20.1
May 20.1
April 21.8
March 24.9
February 27.1
January 24.7
December 22.7
November 19.4
October 18.7
September 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