The beleaguered construction industry added 33,000 jobs in February, the Associated General Contractors of America said.

The gain was the largest since March 2007. However, officials aren’t ready to celebrate, noting that construction's overall unemployment rate is still almost 22 percent.

“Given what this industry has been through, figures like these are as welcome as they are long overdue,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The question now is whether these figures reflect a thaw in economic conditions for the industry, or the benefits of warmer weather and less snow in many parts of the country in February.”

He added that even with the additions, 2.2 million less people work in construction than did in the industry’s peak month of April 2006.

Nationally, overall unemployment dropped a tenth to 8.9 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday, as the economy added 192,000 positions.