Graphic: Walter Konefal div id="articleExtrasA" div id="articleExtrasB" div id="articleExtras" Despite being recorded during the construction industry's peak season, unemployment in the industry remains at record-high levels. Construction's unemployment rate in September was 17.2%, which was higher than August’s 17% rate and the 17.1% recorded for September 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The stubbornly high unemployment rate leaves 1.46 million white- and blue-collar construction workers looking for work. Among construction segments, specialty trade contractors lost 20,900 jobs in September. Firms involved in the construction of buildings gained 500 positions, while heavy and civil construction firms lost 200
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.