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Construction Unemployment Drops to Less Than 18% in April

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Construction's jobless rate improved in April, declining to 17.8% from 20% in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on May 6. Last month's figure also was markedly better than the April 2010 level of 21.8%, but it remains the worst among major U.S. industries. BLS says construction gained 5,000 jobs in April, according to preliminary numbers. However, BLS says total industry employment “has shown little net movement since early 2010, after having fallen sharply during the prior three years.” By sector, jobs in heavy and civil construction rose by 12,700 in April, more than offsetting losses in buildings and specialty-trade categories. Employment rose by 5,600 in architectural and engineering services, which BLS separates from construction. The overall U.S. jobless rate rose to 9% in April from 8.8% a month earlier. Rates for construction and other industries are not adjusted for seasonal variations.

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