Here's some good news: an uptick in the number of construction workers employed, the biggest gain since 2006:
The nation's construction industry added 14,000 jobs nationwide in April, according to the Labor Department, marking the first back-to-back monthly gains in that sector since 2006.
In all, 29 states gained construction jobs that month, according to data released Friday by the Associated General Contractors of America. The U.S. industry has been bolstered in part by federal stimulus funds for infrastructure and the slow but steady improvement in the housing market.
Although building jobs have not yet begun to pick up in California, the industry here is showing improvement. The value of permits in California's private building industry totaled $2.2 billion in March 2010, up 8.1% from the same period last year and 29% from February, according to the Construction Industry Research Board. The number of residential building permits issued in the first three months of the year was up 29% from the same period last year.