Are you looking for a new job in the Chicago area? If you are, then consider checking out the construction industry.

According to preliminary numbers from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the construction industry in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metropolitan area employed approximately 123,400 people in June 2013, representing an increase of 1.8 percent from June 2012. The figure also represented an increase of 8.1 percent from May 2013. The June 2013 figure is also the highest amount of employment in the construction industry to date this year in the metropolitan area, and is up 25.9 percent from the low reported in February of this year.

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The construction industry includes a multitude of building and engineering structures, including homes, retail space, warehouses, highways and utility systems, and comprises new construction, additions, renovations and maintenance and repair. Careers within the construction industry include carpenters, construction laborers, electricians and operating engineers.

The preliminary overall unemployment rate for the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metropolitan area was 10.3 percent in June 2013, representing an increase from the rate of 9.3 percent reported in May 2013. It was also an increase from the unemployment rate of 9.6 percent reported in June 2012. The unemployment rate for the metropolitan area was not seasonally adjusted. Statewide, the preliminary employment rate in Illinois was 9.2 percent in June 2013 at a seasonally adjusted rate.

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According to the BLS, the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metropolitan division consists of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, McHenry and Will counties.

New construction is seeing a rebound in the area. For instance, the National Association of Home Builders recently posted a positive increase in building permits for both single-family and multi-family residences, further bolstering the need for construction workers. The Chicago-Joliet-Naperville area will also see large-scale construction projects; construction on the Circle Interchange, for example, is a multi-year project that will also create “thousands” of jobs.

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at

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