The construction industry added 5,000 jobs in September, according to labor statistics analyzed by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Its unemployment rate sits at 11.9 percent.
Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer, said that growing residential and commercial activity has been offset by declines in public sector spending.
"Despite the slight uptick in construction employment for the past month, the industry is a bit smaller than it was one year ago," Sandherr said. "It appears that for every rebounding market segment, there is another one that is shrinking."
Due to people leaving the industry, overall construction employment in September was 5,000 lower than its year-ago level, the association said. It now has 2.2 million fewer jobs than its 2007 peak of 7.7 million workers.