I live in the Pittsburgh area and the economy in this region is finally starting to come around, which hasn't been the case since Pittsburgh was really a steel town back in the day before mills started shutting down.
Couple of reasons for this turn around:
Pittsburgh is becoming a home to technology companies, the software industry is booming here, creating a ton of good, high-playing technology jobs.
Shale gas plays have generated basically a whole new industry around here. I work for a engineering consulting company and there is so much work just based around the shale industry.
Conversely, and in opposition to the OP, I have a good friend (best man in my wedding) who is a electrician. He worked out of the union for years, really good at what he did, most often was a foreman on jobs due to his level of experience and hard work. Work had been slow. Really slow, like his name was on the books at the hall, but not close to getting called a lot. So he took a job outside of the local union with an energy company who needed staff electricians to work full-time monitoring a nuclear facility in the area.
So around here, it's a mixed bag. Although, bare in mind, while the construction industry touches a lot of companies, just because that industry is booming, doesn't mean the entire economy of that region is booming. One industry does not equal an entire regional economy.