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Improving Employment Rates for Construction Industry

By Lori Lovely | Mar 13, 2023
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Nationally, unemployment in the construction industry was lower in December 2022 than the previous December, decreasing from 5% to 4.4%, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nationally, unemployment in the construction industry was lower in December 2022 than the previous December, decreasing from 5% to 4.4%, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Individually, 32 states showed lower unemployment rates year over year, while 15 states had higher rates, and two remained unchanged.

Those numbers account for “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment, which is generally considered to be more accurate than the monthly fluctuations that accompany seasonal employment.

As of January 2023, about 7.5 million people were employed in the construction industry, which equates to roughly 4.8% of the U.S. workforce.

By December 2022, employment reached higher than the prepandemic peak of 7.6 million (achieved in February 2020). Residential construction employment is considered fully recovered from pandemic lows, while nonresidential construction employment lags by 45,000 jobs.

The BLS projects 4% growth in construction employment over a 10-year span from 2021 to 2031, with approximately 168,500 job openings each year (although some will result from replacing retiring or resigning construction laborers).

However, the BLS projects employment for electricians will decrease by 3% over that same period. Of course, not all sectors of electrical construction will see decreases—residential and nonresidential electrical construction employment will see increases of 2.4% and 1.6%, respectively, and utility system construction will see a big increase of 7.7%.

Several factors may account for these numbers, such as lingering effects of COVID-19, supply chain interruptions, high interest rates negatively affecting demand for new housing, and the ongoing shortage of skilled laborers.

About The Author

Lori Lovely is an award-winning writer and editor in central Indiana. She writes on technical topics, heavy equipment, automotive, motorsports, energy, water and wastewater, animals, real estate, home improvement, gardening and more. Reach her at: [email protected]


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