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Though industry growth slowed considerably month-to-month, by adding 18,000 jobs in March, construction continued its streak of job growth, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Labor Department.
Construction’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest rate since 2008 to 14.7 percent. In January, the unemployment was at 15.1 percent.
March’s tally is just under one-fourth of 48,000 jobs the industry added in February, the highest monthly gain in six years. Still, thanks to the housing boom, the industry was one of the few bright spots in a weak U.S. jobs report that has many fearing a weak Spring could be ahead.
In total, the construction industry employs a preliminary figure of 5.802 million Americans as of March. That’s the highest mark the industry has attained since September 2009 and is a 2.8-percent improvement from the same time last year.
American job growth weakened also. The U.S. economy added 88,000 jobs in March, compared to the 236,000 added in February. The gains the industry enjoyed in February again made up one-fifth of the total jobs added in the U.S. for the month.
The country’s unemployment rate dropped for a second straight month from 7.7 to 7.6 percent—the lowest rate in four years.