Housing starts have really fallen off a cliff in the past year. However, we have not yet seen the last of the construction lay offs. Why not? Because construction employment relates to units under construction, not starts. Units under construction has fallen, but still has some way to go--we're maybe half way there. I predict it will bottom out below 10K/year. This means we still have a lot of construction jobs to be lost.
As for construction employment, it has dropped by around 20 percent since the peak. I think it has a long way to go--I would not be surprised at seeing 2001 levels again by the end of 2010.
That alone, all else equal, would be enough to push the unemployment rate back above 10 percent.
These rates do appear to have plateaued at current levels. However, once the Olympics are done and we see the continued completion of construction projects through the spring and summer, I would not be surprised at all to see 10 percent unemployment in BC by the end of the year.