NAHB analysis of the most recent 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) data reveals that the median age of construction workers is 41, the same as a typical worker in the national labor force. While the residential construction has been adding jobs during the pandemic, access to skilled labor is still a business challenge in 2021.
The median age of construction workers varies across the states. The color coding in the map above tracks the median age of construction workers. States with the oldest median age of construction workers (47 years old) are Maine, followed by New Hampshire (46 years old) and West Virginia, where the median age of construction workers is 45. Construction workers are younger on average in the central part of the nation. Half of all construction workers in North Dakota and Alaska are under 36, while in Oklahoma and Utah half are under 38.
The second data series mapped above is the difference between the median age of construction workers in each state and the median age of the overall workforce. These estimates are reported as the numbers printed on each state. A positive number indicates that on average, construction workers are older than a typical worker in the state labor force. New Mexico is the state where the median age of construction workers is 4 years higher than the overall median, followed by Maine and West Virginia (+3). Meanwhile, a negative number indicates construction workers are, in general, younger than the state labor force. In Alaska, the median age of construction workers is 3 years younger than the overall median.
The ACS data also allow analyzing median age by occupations. Construction occupations with younger workers include helpers, construction trades, solar photovoltaic installs. Older workers are concentrated in managerial positions such as inspectors, construction supervisors and construction managers.