Hispanics Comprise 31% of the Construction Workforce


Diversifying the construction labor force is a key strategic goal given the ongoing skilled labor shortage. The latest labor force statistics from the 2022 American Community Survey[1] show that Non-Hispanic white people account for the majority of workers in the construction industry (57.5%). However, Hispanics make up close to one-third of the construction labor force (31.1%), followed by Black people (5.1%), and Asian people (1.8%).   The most noticeable recent trend in construction employment is the increase in the number and share of Hispanic workers. From 2010 to 2022, the number of Hispanics working in the construction industry rose from 2.5 million to almost 3.7 million. The share of Hispanics employed in the construction industry grew rapidly over the past decade, from 23.6% in 2010 to 31.1% in 2022. Now close to one-third of workers in construction is Hispanic. Hispanics are overrepresented in the construction industry, as they make up 31.1% of construction employment compared to 18.7% across all industries in 2022. Non-Hispanic White people account for 57.5% which is about the same as across all industries (58.3%). Black and Asian people are underrepresented in the construction industry. The share of Hispanic workers in construction varies considerably by state, ranging from only 2% in West Virginia, Vermont, and Maine to more than 50% in New Mexico, Texas, California and Nevada. Hispanic workers in the construction industry are more geographically concentrated in the Southern and Western states, where a large number of Hispanic people reside. In fact, 54% of the nation’s Hispanic construction workforce is concentrated in three states – Texas (827,000), California (775,000), and Florida (373,000). New Mexico also stands out for registering the highest share of Hispanic people in the construction labor force (64%).  Texas is next on the list, with Hispanic people accounting for 63% of its construction workforce, followed by California at 58%. In contrast, the construction industry in the Northeast region relies heavily on non-Hispanic white Americans. Non-Hispanic White people make up more than 95% of the construction workforce in New Hampshire, West Virginia, Vermont, Maine. Black and Asian people are underrepresented in the construction industry in most states. Black people comprise only 5.1% of the construction workforce, while their share in the US labor force is almost 12%. States with the largest share of Black workers in construction are Mississippi (19%), followed by Alabama (13%), and Maryland (34%). Asian people account for less than 2% of the US construction workforce. However, their share is significant in Hawaii, where 28% of construction workers are Asian. [1] From this post, American Community Survey, PUMS Data is and will be used as the data source for the demographic estimates of construction workforce. Discover more from Eye On Housing Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Hispanics Comprise 31% of the Construction Workforce2024-06-17T09:20:07-05:00

Texas, California, and Florida Lead in Hiring Female Construction Workers


In 2022, around 1.29 million women worked in construction in the United States, accounting for 10.97% of the industry, according to the 2022 American Community Survey.  Within the construction industry, women are more likely to be found in such occupations as office and administrative support, management, business, and financial operations. Only 2.8% of women in construction work in actual trade roles.  Increasing the number of women in construction could help address the current labor shortage problem. This post focuses on the number and the share of women working in construction across different states. As of 2022, the state with the largest number of women working in construction was Texas (137,000), followed by California (135,000) and Florida (119,000). These three states accounted for 30% of all women employed in the industry. The larger populations and thriving construction industries in these three states provided more opportunities and higher participation rates for women in construction. In contrast, Vermont had the smallest number, approximately 1,800 women in construction, among all 50 states. Compared to the national average (10.97%), 27 states had a higher concentration of women in construction in 2022. Alaska had the highest share of female construction workers, making up 15.8% of workers in the industry. States like South Carolina, Oregon, and Florida also had a higher concentration of women working in construction, with 14.1%, 14.0% and 13.5% of their workforce, respectively. Discover more from Eye On Housing Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Texas, California, and Florida Lead in Hiring Female Construction Workers2024-06-10T12:15:33-05:00

Mixed Employment Data in May


Despite high interest rates, job growth accelerated in May, but the unemployment rate increased to 4.0%. Overall, the labor market remains strong, but there are signs of slowing, which signals monetary policy easing in the months ahead. Additionally, wage growth accelerated for the first time in four months. In May, wages grew at a 4.1% year-over-year (YOY) growth rate, down 0.5 percentage points from a year ago. Wage growth is well below a 5.9% YOY growth rate in March 2022. However, wage growth has been trending down over the past two years, while productivity growth has rebounded. The gap between wage growth and productivity growth has narrowed. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 272,000 in May, following a downwardly revised increase of 165,000 jobs in April, as reported in the Employment Situation Summary. The estimates for the previous two months were revised down. The monthly change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised down by 5,000, from +315,000 to +310,000, while the change for April was revised down by 10,000 from +175,000 to +165,000. Combined, the revisions were 15,000 lower than the original estimates. Despite restrictive monetary policy, nearly 7.7 million jobs have been created since March 2022, when the Fed enacted the first interest rate hike of this cycle. In the first five months of 2024, 1,239,000 jobs were created, and monthly employment growth averaged 248,000 per month, compared with the 251,000 monthly average gain for 2023. In May, the unemployment rate rose to 4.0%, from 3.9% in April. The number of unemployed persons rose by 157,000, while the number of employed persons decreased by 408,000. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate, the proportion of the population either looking for a job or already holding a job, decreased two percentage points to 62.5% for May. Moreover, the labor force participation rate for people aged between 25 and 54 ticked up to 83.6%. While the overall labor force participation rate is still below its pre-pandemic levels at the beginning of 2020, the rate for people aged between 25 and 54 exceeds the pre-pandemic level of 83.1%. For industry sectors, health care (+68,000), government (+43,000), leisure and hospitality (+42,000), and professional, scientific, and technical services (+32,000), have notable job gains in May. Employment in the overall construction sector increased by 21,000 in May, after no change in April. While residential construction gained 3,500 jobs, non-residential construction employment added 17,100 jobs for the month. Residential construction employment now stands at 3.4 million in May, broken down as 950,000 builders and 2.4 million residential specialty trade contractors. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction was 6,167 a month. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers added 71,900 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 1,376,000 positions. In May, the unemployment rate for construction workers declined to 4.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis. It marks the lowest unemployment rate for construction workers over the past 11 months. The unemployment rate for construction workers remained at a relatively lower level, after reaching 15.3% in April 2020, due to the housing demand impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Discover more from Eye On Housing Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Mixed Employment Data in May2024-06-07T12:15:16-05:00

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