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Construction employment increased by 15,000 to 5,592,000, the industry’s first gain since June 2007, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The construction unemployment rate dropped from 27.1 percent in February to 24.9 percent in March and increased from 21.1 percent in the same month last year, the BLS says.
The employment gain includes the nonresidential building, specialty trades and heavy and civil engineering sectors. While the unemployment rate remains more than double the national rate, average hourly earnings for construction employees increased 2.1 percent to $25.27 per hour over the month, around 12 percent above the all-private sector average.