The earlier June post highlighted the rising number and share of Hispanics in the construction industry. Hispanics now account for almost a third of the construction workforce, according to the 2021 Current Population Survey. In this post, we focus on the regional and state-level differences in the racial and ethnic composition of the construction labor force.
The share of Hispanics employed in construction varies considerably by state, ranging from less than 1% in West Virginia, Vermont, and New Hampshire to more than 50% in Texas and California. Hispanics working in the construction industry are more geographically concentrated in the Southern and Western states, where a large number of Hispanics reside. In fact, 52% of the nation’s Hispanic construction workforce is concentrated in three states – Texas (834,000), California (808,000), and Florida (317,000).
Texas also stands out for registering the highest share of Hispanics in the construction labor force (61%). California is next on the list, with Hispanics accounting for 55% of its construction workforce, followed by Arizona where 49% of construction workforce are Hispanics.
In contrast, the construction industry in the Northeast region relies heavily on non-Hispanic White Americans. Non-Hispanic Whites make up more than 95% of the construction workforce in New Hampshire, West Virginia, Vermont, Maine.
African Americans and Asian Americans are underrepresented in the construction industry in most states. African Americans comprise less than 6% of the construction workforce, while their share in the US labor force exceeds 12%. States with the largest share of African Americans working in construction are Maryland (18%), followed by Georgia (15%), and Louisiana (14%). Asian Americans account for less than 2% of the US construction workforce. However, their share is significant in Hawaii, where one out of every three construction workers are Asian Americans.