Facts and Figures
According to the U.S. Department of Labor:
- Current employment statistics estimates show total annual average construction employment is rising from 5,813,000 in 1997 to an all-time high of 7,689,000 in 2006, surpassing the previous high achieved the previous year.
- Average weekly hours of production workers in construction were 39.0, well above the 2006 private industry average of 33.9 for production and non-supervisory workers.
- The average hourly earnings of production workers in construction were $20.02 in 2006, compared to an average of $16.76 for production and non-supervisory workers in all private industry.
- Employment Projections data indicate that construction employment will increase 11.4 percent over the 2004-14 period. Construction is the only goods-producing sector in which employment is projected to grow. Total employment for all industry sectors is projected to grow 14.8 percent.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Almost 2 out of 3 wage and salary jobs in construction were with specialty trade contractors; primarily plumbing, heating, and air conditioning; electrical; and masonry contractors. Around 1 out of 4 jobs were with building contractors, mostly in residential and nonresidential construction. The rest were with heavy and civil engineering construction contractors.
- There were about 818,000 construction establishments in the United States in 2004: 247,000 were building construction contractors; 57,000 were heavy and civil engineering construction or highway contractors; and 514,000 were specialty trade contractors.
- One million skilled workers will be needed to fill construction jobs by 2012.
According to the Associated General Contractors of Washington, the construction industry has played a powerful role in sustaining economic growth and helping the recovery.
- Construction makes a disproportionately large contribution to GDP. The value of construction put in place in 2004 was approximately $1 trillion—8% of gross domestic product (GDP), considerably higher than the construction industry’s share of employment.
- Construction is a major purchaser of manufactured products. In 2004, shipments of construction materials and supplies totaled approximately $470 billion—nearly 11% of total manufacturing shipments. Shipments of construction machinery accounted for 10% of total machinery shipments.
- Small business is big in construction. In 2002, more than 91% of construction firms had fewer than 20 employees. Only 1% had 100 or more, and only 467 firms (0.07%) had 500 or more.
According to the National Center for Construction Education and Research:
- There are 6.9 million Americans in construction.
- There are 240,000 jobs available each year in construction.
- There will be 8.7 million craft professionals by 2014.
- The average craft professional is 47 years old.
- The construction industry is among the economy’s top 10 largest sources of growth.
- Opportunities to own your own firm is better in construction than any other industry.