Access to labor remains a persistent challenge for home builders and remodelers. Unfilled job openings in the construction sector has moved along an upward trend over the last two and half years. However, there is one group in particular that builders have turned to for workers: military veterans.
According to 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey data and NAHB analysis, approximately 666,400 veterans work in the construction and extraction occupation. This total includes workers in residential construction and remodeling, as well as commercial and civil construction.
The 2013 total makes up 6.5% of all employed veterans. This stands in contrast to the 4.9% of non-veterans employed in construction.
By count, there are 120,700 veterans from the Gulf War II era (2001 to the present) working in construction/extraction. Another 152,800 from Gulf War I are also in the field. A combined 176,100 veterans from Vietnam and earlier conflicts are also in construction/extraction. And lastly, there are an additional 221,300 veterans from other service periods, as defined by the BLS.
The construction sector is one of the occupation classes for which there is a higher share of veterans in the workforce compared to non-veterans. The other occupations with outsized shares include maintenance/repair, transportation, and production.
As there tend to be more men in construction, it is also worth noting that of male veterans, 7.4% (from all time periods) of all employed veterans work in the construction and extraction fields.
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