Hispanics are an important source of labor in the U.S. construction industry, where skilled labor shortage is a long-term issue. One in three workers in the US construction industry is Hispanic. The latest labor force statistics from the 2021 Current Population Survey show that Non-Hispanic Whites account for the majority of workers in the construction industry (59%).Hispanics make up close to a third of the construction labor force (31.5%), followed by African Americans (5.9%), and Asians (1.6%).
The most noticeable trend in construction employment is the increase in the number and share of Hispanics over time. During the Great Recession, the number of Hispanic construction workers declined sharply by 20%, from 3.3 million in 2007 to 2.6 million in 2010. From 2010 to 2017, Hispanic construction employment recovered to around 3.2 million but remained below the pre-recession levels. Most recently, the number of Hispanic workers in construction grew rapidly and reached a record high employment of 3.8 million in 2021, after a small dip during the volatile start of the pandemic.
Similarly, the share of Hispanics employed in the construction industry grew rapidly over the past two decades, from 16.7% in 2001 to 31.5% in 2021. Now close to a third of workers in construction is Hispanic.
Hispanics are overrepresented in the construction industry, as they make up 31.5% of construction employment compared to 18.8% across all industries. Non-Hispanic Whites account for 59%, about the same as across all industries (59.6%). Blacks and Asians are underrepresented in the construction industry.