Housing Policy: Construction Trade and Service Jobs by the Numbers

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Trade-specific occupations represent 64 percent of all jobs in the residential construction industry, and carpenters represent almost half of those construction jobs.

March 26, 2014

Trade-specific occupations represent 64 percent of all jobs in the residential construction industry, and carpenters represent almost half of those construction jobs, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

BLS data from the 2012 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey allow reporting about the roles workers play in home building. The OES survey defines employment as the number of workers who can be classified as full- or part-time employees. The survey provides a profile of the residential building construction industry, which includes builders of for-sale and owner/contractor-built single-family and multifamily housing, as well as residential remodelers.
 
Not surprisingly, the largest share of home building/remodeling employment is concentrated in construction jobs. For 2012, more than 363,000 jobs were in such fields.  

Trade, office, and support service figures

Carpenters make up 47 percent of construction jobs, for a total of more than 171,000 jobs. The OES defines carpenters as workers who construct, erect, install, or repair structures made of wood. It also includes workers who install cabinets and siding, among other things. Approximately 30 percent of carpenters nationwide are employed by the residential building construction sector.
 
Rounding out the construction segment of industry employment are construction laborers, worksite supervisors, brick masons, stonemasons, carpet/tile installers, cement masons, equipment operators, drywall installers, electricians, glaziers, insulation workers, painters, plumbers, plasters, rebar workers, roofers, and sheet metal workers.
 
Management jobs constituted approximately 9 percent of jobs in the residential construction industry, for a total of more than 48,000 positions. Office and administrative support made up the second largest category, which at just under 80,000 jobs represented 14 percent of sector employment.  Sales staff and business/finance roles each made up about 4 percent of home building business jobs, each contributing approximately 24,000 jobs.
 
Other jobs in home building, together representing roughly 6 percent of employment in the industry, include architects, lawyers, designers, building/grounds maintenance staff, security guards, drivers, and information technology staff.  PB
 
Visit NAHB economics blog, www.eyeonhousing.org, to learn more about construction employment and wages of many of the occupations in residential construction.
 
 

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