The beleaguered construction industry added 33,000 jobs in February, the Associated General Contractors of America said.
The gain was the largest
since March 2007. However, officials aren’t ready to celebrate, noting that construction's overall unemployment rate is still almost 22 percent.
“Given what this industry has been through, figures like
these are as welcome as they are long overdue,” said Ken Simonson, the
association’s chief economist. “The question now is whether these figures
reflect a thaw in economic conditions for the industry, or the benefits of
warmer weather and less snow in many parts of the country in February.”
He added that even with the additions, 2.2 million
less people work in construction than did in the industry’s peak month of April
Nationally, overall unemployment
dropped a tenth to 8.9 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday,
as the economy added 192,000 positions.