Home Building Employment across States and Congressional Districts in 2022

According to the latest 2022 ACS, 11.2 million people, including self-employed workers, worked in construction in 2022. NAHB estimates that out of this total, 4.7 million people worked in residential construction, accounting for 2.9% of the US employed civilian labor force. Home building in the Mountain Division, as well as in Florida, stand out as generating a significantly higher share of local jobs, with residential construction generating close to 6% of all jobs in Idaho. NAHB’s analysis also identifies congressional districts where home building accounts for particularly high employment levels and share of local jobs.

Not surprisingly, the most populous state—California—also has the most residential construction workers. Over 650,000 California residents worked in home building in 2022, accounting for 3.4% of the state employed labor force.

Fast-growing Florida comes in second with 466,000 residential construction workers. The state stands out for registering one of the fastest growing populations since the start of the pandemic, which undoubtedly boosted housing and construction workforce demand. Florida’s large stock of vacation and seasonal housing further boosts demand for residential construction workers. As a result, in Florida, residential construction workers account for a relatively high 4.4% of the employed labor. Even though this share is well above the national average (2.9%), it is significantly lower than in 2006, when Florida registered the highest share among all 50 states and the District of Columbia, at 6.5%.

Similar to Florida, fast-growing states with a high prevalence of seasonal, vacation homes top the list of states with the highest share of residential construction workers in 2022. Three states in the Mountain Division – Idaho, Utah, and Montana – take the top spots on the list with 5.9%, 5.4% and 4.8% of the employed labor force working in home building. Florida is next on the list with a share of 4.4%. In addition, ten other states register shares of residential construction workers that approach 4%: Maine (3.9%), Wyoming (3.8%), Vermont (3.8%), Washington, Colorado, New Hampshire, Nevada with 3.7%, and Arizona, North Carolina, and Oregon with 3.5%.

As of 2022, the average congressional district has about 10,800 residents working in residential construction, but that number is often significantly higher. In Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, over 29,000 residents are in home building and Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District has close to 25,000 residents working in home building.

Eight other congressional districts have over 20,000 residents working in residential construction – Florida’s 26th (24,700), Utah’s 4th (24,500), Utah’s 2nd (24,300), Florida’s 17th (21,400), Utah’s 1st (20,600), Florida’s 7th (20,500), California’s 29th (20,400), and Colorado 8th (20,100).

By design, Congressional districts are drawn to represent roughly the same number of people. So generally, large numbers of residential construction (RC) workers translate into high shares of RC workers in their district employed labor forces.  Idaho’s 1st registers the highest share of residential construction workers in the employed labor force, 6.4%. Two districts in Florida (Florida’s 17th and 26th) are next on the list with shares of 6.2%. Utah’s 2nd (5.7%) and California’s 29th (5.5%) also register shares far exceeding the national average of 2.9%. 

At the other end of the spectrum there are several districts that contain parts of large urban areas: the District of Columbia, the 12th of New York, located in New York City, Pennsylvania’s 3rd that includes areas of the city of Philadelphia, Illinois’s 7th and 5th, Georgia’s 5th that includes most of Atlanta, and among others, Louisiana’s 2nd that contains New Orleans. Most residents in these urban districts tend to work in professional, scientific, and technical services.

The District of Columbia stands out for having the lowest number of RC workers, with less than 1,000 residing in the district. At the same time, it has a disproportionally large share of public administration workers. The 12th District of New York and the 7th District of Illinois are home to a very large group of finance and insurance workers. Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania’s 2nd, more than a third of residents work in health care and educational services.

The NAHB residential construction employment estimates include self-employed workers. Counting self-employed is particularly important in the home building industry since they traditionally make up a larger share of the labor force than in the US total workforce.

The new NAHB home building employment estimates only include workers directly employed by the industry and do not count jobs created in related industries– such as design and architecture, furniture making, building materials, landscaping, etc.  As a result, the estimates underestimate the overall impact of home building on local employment.

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