The construction industry added 29,000 jobs in February and 321,000 in the past year, dropping the industry’s unemployment rate to an eight-year low of 10.6 percent.

The figures come from the Associated General Contractors of America.

"Despite challenging weather conditions in much of the country, both the number of workers and their average weekly hours rose last month to the highest levels since the recession," said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. "There are lots of good-paying, full-time jobs available in construction, with more work on the way."

However, the numbers could be higher, the association added, if Washington politicians settle their differences over highway project funding.

Members are ready to work, Simonson said.

"Contractors in most states appear optimistic about the prospects for construction, especially for apartments and private nonresidential projects," he said. "In contrast, the highway funding outlook is murky."