Of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) three construction segments, building construction employment fell by 1,500 jobs last month but has risen by 38,300 jobs (2.4%) since June 2002. Heavy and civil engineering construction employment gained 2,700 jobs last month but lost 25,000 jobs (2.7%) over the year. Specialty trade contractors added 14,500 jobs in the month and 63,100 jobs (1.5%) over the 12-month span.

The seasonally adjusted value of construction put in place decreased 1.7% in May to an annual rate of $870 billion, according to the Census Bureau. The Census also made its annual revision of past data, upping the total for 2002 to $861 billion, a 1% gain over the revised 2001 total. Construction in the first five months of 2003 is 1.6% ahead of the same period in 2002. Under the new classification, private residential construction rose by 8% in 2002 and 9% from January to May 2003, private nonresidential fell by 13% and 10%, and public construction of all types climbed 5% and .6%.