According to a recent news release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate climbed from 5.0 to 5.5 percent in May of 2008. Employment continued to fall in construction; unemployment in the construction industry is up 1.7 percent from May 2007 to May 2008. Average hourly earnings rose slightly by 0.3 percent, or 5 cents an hour.
Employment in construction fell by 34,000 in May, 2008. Construction has lost 475,000 jobs from an employment peak in September of 2006. Over the month, employment declined among residential specialty trade contractors (-19,000) and in construction of buildings (-12,000). Construction of buildings is down 12.2 percent with residential construction buildings accounting for a 6.3 percent decrease and nonresidential building construction decreasing by 5.9 percent.