Construction's unemployment rate continued its downward trend in June, falling to 15.6% from May's 16.3%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Last month's rate also was significantly better than the June 2010 level of 20.1%.

The latest monthly BLS unemployment report, released on July 8, also had some discouraging numbers for construction, however. Construction lost 9,000 jobs in June on a seasonally adjusted basis and its jobless rate was still the highest among major U.S.  industries.

Nearly all construction segments posted job losses in June. The exception was nonresidential specialty trade contractors, which recorded a gain of 3,100.

The largest decline was in residential specialty trade contractors, which showed a loss of 8,400 jobs. Buildings construction was down 1,900 positions and heavy-civil construction lost 1,800 jobs.

Architectural and engineering services, which is separate from the BLS construction category, ticked upward by 200 jobs.

June also was the ninth-consecutive month in which construction's unemployment rate was better than the year-earlier levels.

BLS jobless rates for construction and other industries are not adjusted for seasonal swings. Rates for the highly seasonal construction industry generally are lowest in the summer, when the volume of work peaks in many parts of the country.

The overall U.S. unemployment rate edged upward again in June, to 9.2%, from May’s 9.1%.