The construction industry is a vital part of the U.S. economy. However, success in this industry naturally comes with a number of challenges, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only added to these. To find out more about the state of the U.S. construction market, here are some construction industry statistics 2022:

  • U.S. construction put in place over 2021 is valued at $1.589 trillion.

  • Approximatley 7.5 million people are employed by the construction industry, as of January 2022 — that’s about 4.8% of the U.S. workforce.

  • The construction industry accounts for roughly 4.3% of U.S. GDP.

  • 1,337,800 new housing units were completed in 2021, a 4% increase from 2020.

  • The market size of the U.S. construction industry was valued at around $1.36 trillion as of 2020.

  • The construction industry’s revenue has risen at an annualized rate of 2.7% from 2016 to 2021.

  • The average annual turnover rate in the construction industry is 68%, as of 2020

For further analysis, we broke down the data in the following ways:
Employment | Effects of the Pandemic | Trends + Projections | Challenges
u.s. construction spending 2010-2020

General Construction Industry Statistics

  • There are over 733,000 employers in the U.S. construction industry.

  • In one study spanning three years, only about 31% of construction projects finished within 10% of their original budgets.

  • With a 2019 revenue of $21.8 billion, Bechtel is the largest construction company in the U.S.

america's top 5 biggest construction companies

Construction Industry Statistics by Employment

    • Workers in the construction industry account for approximately 4.8% of the entire U.S. workforce.

      As of 2019, there are approximately 157.54 million jobs in the U.S., and the construction industry makes about 7.5 million of those.

      This is up from 2009, when the construction industry held about 6 million, or 4.2%, of the 143 million total jobs in the country.

    • As of December 2021, the unemployment rate in the construction industry is 5%.

      This is down from 16.6% in April of 2020. The construction unemployment rate has been on a steady decline since that dramatic spike, with a few increases during the winter months.

      The national unemployment rate as of January 2022 was 4%.

unemployment rate of the u.s. construction industry 2010-2020

    • Women account for about 10.9% of all construction workers in the U.S.

      In contrast, women make up about 57.4% of the whole U.S. workforce.

    • Workers in the construction industry earn an average of about $31.44 an hour, as of January 2022.

      Construction laborers are at the low end of this spectrum, earning an average of $20.92 an hour, and construction managers are at the top, earning an average of $51.02 an hour, or $106,120 annually.

      Carpenters, electricians, operating engineers, and other construction equipment operators fall somewhere in between the two, earning an average of about $26 to $30 an hour.

Average Wages for Construction Employees

JobMedian (Hourly)Mean (Hourly)Median (Annual)Mean (Annual)
Construction laborers$18.38$20.92$38,220$43,520
Construction managers$46.09$51.02$95,870$106,120
Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators$25.04$28.11$52,090$58,470

Construction Industry Statistics and the Pandemic

  • Construction spending increased by 4.8% from 2019 to 2020.

    In 2020, the total amount spent on construction was $1.43 trillion. $813.9 billion of that went toward residential construction, an increase of almost 12% from 2019 to 2020.

    Nonresidential construction spending, on the other hand, decreased by 0.04% during that same time frame. Projects that fall into this category include lodging, office, manufacturing, and educational facilities.

    The month with the highest spending in 2020 was August, which saw $132 million spent on construction projects.

  • Nonresidential construction starts dropped by 27% from 2019 to 2020.

    This metric measures the estimated value of new construction projects as of the month they begin.

    In 2020, new construction projects were valued at $38.6 billion, a number that has only decreased since then as companies have stopped building new offices and other facilities as they recover from the pandemic.

  • In March and April 2020, the construction industry lost more than 1.1 million jobs.

    While most state and local governments considered construction an “essential” service during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, many did not. Between this and companies needing to delay projects as they adapted to being closed down, much construction came to a halt during these months, putting these workers out of jobs.

    Since May 2020, though, about 931,000 jobs have been added back to the industry.

  • From March to July 2020, the residential deck construction rate increased by 275%.

    As people suddenly found themselves locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they began tackling the home improvement projects they hadn’t previously had the time or money to do. Many of these projects homeowners did themselves, but some, like landscaping and deck-building, they hired contractors to do.

    During the same time frame, fence installation went up 144%, and the rate at which homeowners were hiring landscapers increased by 238%.

The construction industry accounts for 4.3% of U.S. GDP

    • There were about 978,000 single-family housing building permits granted in 2020.

      This is up from 862,000 in 2019, representative of the steady growth occurring since 2011 after a decline from 2005 until 2011.

      The highest number of building permits approved in the last 20 years was the 1.682 million granted in 2005.

    • 991,000 single-family homes began construction in 2020, comnpared to 390,000 multifamily homes.

      Single-family home constrcution starts grew at a much more rapid pace than multifamily homes from from 2019 to 2020 — an 11.6% growth, compared to a 3% decline.

new residential construction in the u.s. 2008-2020 single-family vs. multifamily

New Residential Construction Starts in the U.S. 2008-2020

  • New construction is forecast to be valued at about $1.23 trillion in 2024.

    This accounts for declines in construction projects due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

    Within this total 2024 amount, the predicted value of residential construction put in place is about $483 billion, non-residential construction is about $473 billion, and non-building construction is around $273 billion.

  • It’s predicted that there will be approximately 300,200 more construction jobs in 2029 than in 2019.

    This is a compound annual rate of change of 0.4%, which is on par with the predicted rate of a 0.4% increase for all jobs in the U.S. during that same timeframe.

  • About 60% of surveyed construction executives forecast industry expansion in 2023.

    8% said they expect significant expansion, while 52% predict moderate expansion. 20% said they anticipate neither an expansion nor a contraction, 15% expect a moderate contraction, and 5% predict a significant contraction in the industry.

    The percentage of executives who forecast industry expansion was up from the 54% who predicted the same in 2020 and 51% in 2019.

    2019 saw lower-than-usual optimism, though, as, in 2017 and 2018, the percentage of executives saying the expected industry expansion in the next two years was at 84% and 76%, respectively.

Construction Industry Statistics by Challenges

  • About 88% of contractors say they have difficulty in finding skilled workers.

    Almost half of those say they have a high level of difficulty finding these electricians, carpenters, masons, HVAC technicians, plumbers, and others needed to complete projects.

    Because of this shortage, contractors are paying more, struggling to meet deadlines, asking skilled workers to do more work, and even turning down projects.

  • Only 25% of construction projects studied from 2012 to 2015 came within 10% of their original deadlines.

    A 10% margin of error is planned into project budgets and timelines as a contingency since managers know that there will be things that don’t go according to plan.

    Often, though, this 10% isn’t enough to cover all the budgetary and timeline setbacks that do occur.

  • In May 2021, the separation rate in the construction industry was 4.5%.

    This means that 4.5% of construction employees quit or were fired or laid off during that time. This rate is lower than the June 2020 rate of 4.8% and the estimated June 2021 rate of 4.9 %.

    For comparison, the rate across all industries was 3.8% in June 2020, 3.7% in May 2021, and is estimated to be 3.8% in June 2021. (These numbers are all seasonally adjusted to give an accurate picture for even cyclical industries like construction.)

  • The price of lumber and plywood has risen by 85.7% over 2020 and into 2021.

    This is just one area where material costs have risen dramatically during this time frame. Copper and brass mill shapes, for instance, have risen by 49% and steel pipe and tube by 24.4%.

    These spikes have been caused by bottlenecks in the supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other holdups. Because of this, experts predict that prices will begin to level off and reduce in 2022 as the supply chain recovers.

U.S. Construction Industry Statistics FAQ

  1. What percentage of the workforce is construction?

    Approximately 4.8% of the U.S workforce works in construction. That’s about 7.5 million Americans employed by the construction industry, as of January 2022.

  2. How big is the construction industry?

    The U.S. construction industry is vast, being valued at over $1.6 trillion in 2021. Construction is the 12th largest industry in the country and accounts for approximately 4.3% of the U.S. total GDP.

  3. Is the construction industry growing in the U.S.?

    Yes, the construction industry is growing in the U.S.

    The overall rate of job growth across all industries in the U.S. is 0.4%, and the job growth rate within the construction industry matches that.

    In addition, the industry‘s revenue has grown at an annualized rate of 2.7% and is only expected to continue to grow in years to come.

  4. Is the construction industry the largest in the U.S.?

    No, the construction industry isn’t the largest in the U.S. It accounts for 4.3% of the U.S. GDP, enough to rank 12th among all industries.

    The largest industry in the U.S. is the real estate, renting, and leasing industry, which contributes to 13% of the U.S. GDP.

  5. How many new homes are built each year?

    1,337,800 million new housing units were built over 2021. With roughly 990,000 of those being single-family homes. This represents about a 4% year-over-year increase from 2020.

  6. What is the future of the construction industry?

    The construction industry’s future involves a more pronounced focus on digitization, automation, artificial intelligence, and the use of augmented and virtual realities. Additionally, experts point towards trends of increased use of robotics, more focus on offsite construction, and a greater priority given to greener, more sustainable building practices, and designs.

  7. What is the turnover rate for the construction industry?

    The construction industry’s turnover rate is 65% as of 2021. While this is slightly less than the 68% seen in 2020, it’s still far higher than more other industries. For example, the Manufacturing industry has a turnover rate of 31.6%, and the Information industry has a turnover rate of 38.5%.


The U.S. construction industry is a giant of the U.S. economy, accounting for 4.3% of the country’s GDP and employing 7.4 million people.

The industry is not without challenges, though, as it depends greatly on good weather conditions, the ability to find good workers and supplies, and the ability of businesses and homeowners to pay for new construction projects.

Almost all of these potential roadblocks have become a reality in the last year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies recovering from lockdowns paused or postponed projects, and supply chain problems have made materials scarce and expensive.

In addition, the number of skilled laborers is shrinking in the U.S., making it difficult and more expensive to hire the electricians, plumbers, carpenters, HVAC technicians, and masons needed to complete construction projects.

Through it all, though, the industry has managed to resume the upward motion of its revenue and job growth rates and is poised to continue growing in the future.


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By Chris Kolmar


Sep. 26, 2022

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Tom is a construction estimator with over 35 years of experience in the industry from field work to general contracting.

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