Construction’s unemployment rate is starting to ease back from record-high levels. In July, the industry’s unemployment rate slipped to 17.3%, down from 20.1% the previous month and down from 18.2% in July 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, construction employment remains at a 14-year low, says BLS. Part of the improvement was the nearly 10,000 construction workers who returned to work after being on strike earlier in the year, says BLS. Given the drop in employment, the recent decrease in the jobless rate reflects workers who have left construction for other industries or have stopped looking for work in the past 12 months, not net hiring, says BLS.