Construction’s March unemployment rate improved from February and year-earlier levels as the industry added 6,000 jobs, the Labor Dept. reported.
The latest monthly employment report, which the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released on April 7, shows construction’s March jobless rate declined to 8.4% from the previous month’s 8.8%. March’s figure also was down from the March 2016 rate of 8.7%.
The BLS unemployment rates aren’t adjusted for seasonal variations.
March’s pickup of 6,000 jobs continued the industry’s workforce expansion, though the gain paled compared with February’s robust increase of 59,000. BLS revised the February figure upward from its preliminary estimate of 58,000.
The March jobs numbers reflected a clear split between major market categories: nonresidential segments added a combined 13,300 workers in March and residential sectors lost 7,600.
Nonresidential specialty trade contractors posted the strongest results, gaining 7,300. The heavy and civil engineering construction workforce expanded by 4,100.
Architectural and engineering services—a separate BLS category from construction—recorded an increase of 7,300 jobs in March.
The overall U.S. jobless rate dipped to 4.5% last month, from February’s 4.7%, and the year-earlier 5%, as the economy added 98,000 jobs.