Dusting Off The Blueprints

Ah, for the 1980s, when investors forked over millions at the drop of a hat to build yet another office park or shopping mall. In 1989, the peak year of such crazed activity, developers committed $106 billion to new commercial construction. It has been sharply downhill since. But buried in the Labor Dept.'s April employment survey, released May 6, was evidence of recovery: Construction employment surged, as contractors took on 64,000 new workers--double that of a year ago.

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