The Median Age of the Construction Workforce


NAHB analysis of the most recent 2021 American Community Survey (ACS) data reveals that the median age of construction workers is 42, one year older than a typical worker in the national labor force.  Attracting skilled labor is still the primary long-term goal for construction, even though a slowing housing market has eased some pressure on current tight labor market conditions.

The median age of construction workforce varies across states. The color coding in the map above tracks the median age of people working in the construction industry. States with the oldest median age of construction workers (47 years old) are Maine and Vermont, followed by New Hampshire and Rhode Island (46 years old) and Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire and New York, where the median age of construction workers is 44. Construction workers are younger on average in the central part of the nation. Half of all construction workers in South Dakota and Utah are under 38.

The second data series mapped above is the difference between the median age of construction workforce 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.  Rhode Island and Alaska are the states where the median age of construction workers is 5 years higher than the overall median, followed by Vermont (+4). Meanwhile, a negative number indicates construction workers are, in general, younger than the state labor force.  In South Dakota, the median age of construction workers is 2 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.

1 reply

  1. Great blog- this definitely highlights the importance of planning for continued training throughout the construction industry in order to maintain a higher quality of workmanship. This planning should include strategic advice from loan providers on the most efficient use of construction loan funds.

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