Employment for women in the construction industry surpassed its previous peak in 2006 last year. During the Great Recession, the number of female construction workers dropped by nearly 30% and have only now come back to pre-recession numbers, according to NAHB. For seven years there was no substantial growth, but the past three years have seen huge increases. In 2019, the number of female construction workers hit 1.2 million, a 6% increase from 2018. This is especially important because labor shortages are one of the key issues facing the industry.
Overall, the share of women in construction increased to 10.3% in 2019. According to the Current Population Survey, women in the construction are mostly involved in such occupations as office and administrative support, management, business and financial operations. Sales and office occupations employed the largest number of women within the construction industry. For example, women accounted for 74 percent of workers in sales and office occupations, including 446,000 women in office and administrative support, and 35,000 in sales and related occupations in 2019. More than 418,000 women were engaged in management, professional, and related occupations.
While construction and maintenance occupations account for the largest number of employees in construction, and is where additional workers are needed, women comprised only 3 percent of the such occupations. More improvement is needed here. Other groups such as production, transportation, and material moving occupations, and service occupations employed only around 9,000 female workers.