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Industries at a Glance
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Construction: NAICS 23

About the Construction sector

The construction sector is part of the goods-producing industries supersector group.

The construction sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in the construction of buildings or engineering projects (e.g., highways and utility systems). Establishments primarily engaged in the preparation of sites for new construction and establishments primarily engaged in subdividing land for sale as building sites also are included in this sector.

Construction work done may include new work, additions, alterations, or maintenance and repairs. Activities of these establishments generally are managed at a fixed place of business, but they usually perform construction activities at multiple project sites. Production responsibilities for establishments in this sector are usually specified in (1) contracts with the owners of construction projects (prime contracts) or (2) contracts with other construction establishments (subcontracts).

North American Industry Classification System

The construction sector consists of these subsectors:

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment and unemployment in construction. While most data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys, information on industry unemployment comes from a national survey of households. The following tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, the unemployment rate of those previously employed in the industry, job openings and labor turnover, union membership and representation, gross job gains and losses, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment, Unemployment, and Openings, Hires, and Separations

Data series Back
data
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

7,412 7,355 (p)7,452 (p)7,452

Employment, production and nonsupervisory employees (seasonally adjusted)

5,447 5,413 (p)5,518 (p)5,466

Unemployment

Unemployment rate

9.4% 9.6% 8.6% 7.7%

Job openings, hires, and separations (in thousands)

Job openings

304 242 (p)369  

Hires

310 326 (p)430  

Separations

379 349 (p)303  

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics, Current Population Survey, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey)

Union Membership and Representation

Data series Back
data
2017 2018 2019 2020

Union membership and representation

Members of unions (percent of wage and salary workers)

14.0% 12.8% 12.6% 12.7%

Represented by unions (percent of wage and salary workers)

14.7% 13.8% 13.6% 13.4%

(Source: Current Population Survey)

Dynamic Changes in Employment

Data series Back
data
4th quarter
2019
1st quarter
2020
2nd quarter
2020
3rd quarter
2020

Dynamic changes in employment (in thousands)

Gross job gains

676 683 543 678

Gross job losses

649 626 1,044 663

(Source: Business Employment Dynamics)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2020

Carpenters

593,530

Construction laborers

827,100

Construction managers

235,940

Electricians

506,950

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

261,540

(Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics)

Projections

For projected (future) employment estimates, see the National Employment Matrix, which includes employment estimates by industry and occupation for construction.

(Source: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections)

Earnings and Hours

This section presents data on employee earnings and weekly hours. The latest industry averages of hourly earnings and weekly hours, as well as weekly earnings by union membership status, are shown. In addition, recent hourly and annual earnings are shown for occupations commonly found in construction. This section also contains information on the average cost of benefits paid by employers, as well as recent rates of change in wages and total compensation.

Earnings and Hours of All Employees

Data series Back
data
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021

Average hourly earnings

$32.17 $32.28 (p)$32.25 (p)$32.57

Average weekly hours

39.4 38.2 (p)39.4 (p)39.1

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings and Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees

Data series Back
data
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021

Average hourly earnings

$29.69 $29.65 (p)$29.77 (p)$30.21

Average weekly hours

40.2 38.6 (p)40.1 (p)39.8

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2020
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Carpenters

$23.91 $26.19 $49,730 $54,470

Construction laborers

$18.38 $20.92 $38,220 $43,520

Construction managers

$46.09 $51.02 $95,870 $106,120

Electricians

$26.62 $29.23 $55,360 $60,800

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

$25.04 $28.11 $52,090 $58,470

(Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics)

Employee Benefits

This section presents data on the incidence (the percentage of workers with access to and participation in employer-provided benefit plans) and provisions of selected employee benefits from the National Compensation Survey. More Benefits estimates are also accessible from the Benefits database, the archived NCS publications page, and the complete Employee Benefits Excel dataset (XLSX).

Data series Access Participation
Back
data
2020 Back
data
2020

Private industry

Retirement benefit plans

59 46

Defined benefit plans

15 15

Defined contribution plans

52 38

(Source: Employee Benefits in the United States)

Data series After 1 year of service After 20 years of service
Back
data
2020 Back
data
2020

Mean number of vacation days for private industry workers without consolidated leave plans

7 13

(Source: Employee Benefits in the United States)

Data series Back
data
2020

Percent of private industry workers with access to employer-sponsored benefits

Health care

74

Paid vacation

76

Paid sick leave

62

(Source: Employee Benefits in the United States)

Employer Compensation Costs

Data series Back
data
2nd quarter
2020
3rd quarter
2020
4th quarter
2020
1st quarter
2021

Private industry

12-month percent change

Total compensation

3.3% 2.4% 2.4% 2.7%

Wages and salaries

3.9% 2.8% 2.8% 3.0%

3-month percent change

Total compensation

1.1% 0.4% 0.4% 0.7%

Wages and salaries

1.4% 0.4% 0.5% 0.6%

(Source: Compensation Cost Trends)

Data series Private industry
Compensation component
($ per hour worked)
Percent of total compensation
Back
data
4th quarter 2020 Back
data
4th quarter 2020

Total compensation

40.61 100.0

Wages and salaries

28.29 69.7

Total benefits

12.32 30.3

Insurance

3.06 7.5

Retirement

2.12 5.2

Paid leave

1.85 4.6

(Source: Compensation Cost Trends)

Union Membership and Representation

Data series Back
data
Median weekly earnings
2017 2018 2019 2020

Union membership and representation

Full-time workers

$840 $868 $909 $961

Members of unions

$1,163 $1,220 $1,257 $1,254

Represented by unions

$1,155 $1,210 $1,240 $1,234

Nonunion

$797 $819 $868 $920

(Source: Current Population Survey)

Work-related Fatalities, Injuries, and Illnesses

This section presents data for the industry on the number of workplace fatalities and the rates of workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in construction. An injury or illness is considered to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Data series 2016 2017 2018 2019

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

1,034 1,013 1,038 1,102

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

Data series 2019

Rate of injury and illness cases per 100 full-time workers

Total recordable cases

2.8

Cases involving days away from work, job restriction, or transfer

1.7

Cases involving days away from work

1.1

Cases involving days of job transfer or restriction

0.6

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

(Source: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments and the number of establishments experiencing job gains or job losses in construction.

Establishments

Data series Back
data
4th quarter
2019
1st quarter
2020
2nd quarter
2020
3rd quarter
2020

Number of establishments

Private industry

840,490 (p)839,816 (p)844,549 (p)853,348

Local government

4,292 (p)4,277 (p)4,278 (p)4,277

State government

1,724 (p)1,721 (p)1,721 (p)1,721

Federal government

3 (p)2 (p)1 (p)1

Establishments with changes in employment (in thousands)

With job gains (seasonally adjusted)

204 205 176 207

With job losses (seasonally adjusted)

193 190 260 197

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Business Employment Dynamics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

 

Data extracted on: May 11, 2021