Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Unemployment at lowest level in 4 years

Construction boom contributing to job growth

The unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level since December 2008 in February, as nonfarm payroll employment added 236,000 jobs to the economy, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The monthly growth pushed down the unemployment rate from 7.9 percent in January to 7.7 percent in February, according to the report.  The improving economic conditions captured in the report are partly attributable to robust growth in the construction industry, which added 48,000 jobs to the economy in February, according to the bureau. Residential construction jobs were up 3.1 percent year over year in February, more than twice the increase of the national employment rate over the last year, said Jed Jolko, Trulia's chief economist, in a blog post. That sector has added 125,000 jobs since the housing market hit bottom, while related industries have contributed an additional 184,000, he added. Doug Duncan, chief economist of Fannie Mae, said the report indicated that the housing recovery rem...