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Employees in U.S. construction industry 1998-2019

The number of production workers in the construction industry in the United States dropped after the 2008 Recession hit; however, employment has steadily risen again to meet pre-Recession numbers. In 2019, the number of production workers reached over nine million people. Production workers are those that manufacture goods and parts within an industry. Tasks may include monitoring the production process and testing for quality, packing goods for shipment, and assembling goods.

Construction labor shortage

As the world rapidly urbanizes, the construction industry struggles to keep up with the need for new infrastructure and buildings. However, many people now avoid construction jobs as they are perceived to be difficult, dirty, or dangerous. The shortage of skilled construction labor has been immense across the United States with many contractors reporting difficulty in hiring for various positions. Increase in construction costs may also have contributed to the labor shortage due to higher costs.

Technology in Construction

In order to face the labor challenge, construction companies are slowly starting to implement more technological solutions, like Building Information Modeling (BIM), in order to optimize processes like project management and communication. However, the construction industry is a slow moving one and it often takes a long time before change becomes the norm across the industry.

Number of production workers within the U.S. construction industry from 1998 to 2019

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Release date

July 2020


United States

Survey time period

1998 to 2019

Supplementary notes

The source defines production workers as 'persons engaged in production'.

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Statistics on "Construction in the United States"

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