60 Must-Know Construction Statistics for 2019

Construction has always been one of the top revenue-generating industries in the world — the United States construction market, in particular, is one of the largest. Despite the size and scope of the industry, it is constantly changing and adapting to the current economic and social climate. Currently, we are witnessing the post-recession construction boom starting to slow, but by no means is the industry stagnant.

There is sustainable growth throughout many sectors of construction, especially in the private development of single-family homes and home improvement projects. The workplace is changing as well, with an increase in minority and female representation. New technologies and construction trends such as drone mapping and building information modeling software are creating new solutions for old inefficiencies and increasing safety on the job site.

This doesn’t mean that the industry is without its challenges. There is still an ongoing labor shortage for skilled workers and plenty of uncertainty around raw material trade and various tariffs. However, new technology and innovative ideas such as modular prefabricated construction offer bright hope for the future and many firms are adding staff every year. Despite a few areas of unease, most contractors and construction firms are confident in their abilities to rise up and meet the challenges of 2019.

We’ve compiled 60 construction statistics that illustrate the state of the construction industry and give you a picture of the direction it is heading in. Jump to our infographic to see the most compelling stats that you need to know.

Construction Industry Facts and Figures

  1. Construction spending in the United States topped $1.23 trillion in 2017. [Statista]
  2. Global construction costs are expected to rise 4.3% on average. [Turner & Townsend]
  3. At $951 billion dollars, 77% of construction spending occurred in the private sector in 2018. [Statista]
  4. In 2017, construction accounted for between 7% of total U.S. GDP.  [FMI]
  5. Single-family residential construction is estimated at $267 billion, up 8% from 2016. [FMI]
  6. Multi-family residential construction rose by 7% last year, with $65 billion in estimated value. [FMI]
  7. Commercial construction was $85 billion in 2017, up 11% from the previous year. [FMI]
  8. Home improvement spending increased by 14% in 2017. [FMI]
  9. 56% of contractors registered their projects with the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) over the past three years. [USCC]
  10. Construction for the manufacturing sector decreased by 16% in 2017. [FMI]
  11. Construction related to power and energy distribution fell by 5% in 2017, though it was still valued at $100 billion. [FMI]
  12. Amusement and recreation grew by 5%, driven by large budget stadiums and casinos. [FMI]
  13. Conservation and development construction is valued at $8 billion dollars. [FMI]
  14. Transportation construction rose by 4% in 2017  from work on ports and airports. [FMI]
  15. Steel demand for construction in Asia and Oceania is over 1 billion metric tons annually. [Statista]

Workers and Compensation

  1. 10.6 million people worked in the construction industry in 2017. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
  2. 15% of construction firms reported having a staff of over 1,000 individuals. [JBK]
  3. 35% of construction-related companies increased their staff size in 2017. [JBK]
  4. The average hourly wage of all construction employees is $29.95. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
  5. The median weekly earnings for a full-time, non-union worker was $840 in 2017. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
  6. In 2017, the median earnings for a full-time union worker was $1,163 per week. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
  7. The construction industry has added 297,000 net jobs. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
  8. The approximate dollar value of construction work done in the U.S. in July 2018 is estimated to be $1.3 billion dollars. [CENSUS]
  9. Over $81.2 billion in new contracts were awarded to the top 10 construction companies in the U.S. in 2017. [ENR]
  10. 90% of U.S. general contractors reported that they concerned over the labor shortage.   [USCC]
  11. 57% of contractors plan on hiring more employees in the next 6 months. [CIC]
  12. 57% of contractors also report having trouble finding skilled workers. [USCC]

Gender, Ethnicity, and Demographics

  1. Only about one-third of all employees in the construction industry were born after 1980, while 52% were born between 1960 and 1979. [JBK]
  2. 30% of the construction workforce identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
  3. 9% of the total construction workforces is female. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]

Construction Location

  1. Construction in the Western United States is projected to grow up to 7% between 2017 and 2018. [FMI]
  2. 20% of U.S. construction occurs in New York, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington. [Built Worlds]
  3. 50% of all construction in the U.S. is expected to occur in just 20 cities over the next 5 years. [Built Worlds]
  4. Costing $3900 per sq meter, New York City is the most expensive city to build in in 2017. [Turner & Townsend]
  5. The top 5 states renting equipment are California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New York. [BigRentz]

Construction Safety By the Numbers

  1. Across the world, 2.3 million people die due to work-related accidents or diseases every year. [ILO]
  2. About 64% of all on the job fatalities in construction is due to the  “Fatal Four” hazards: falls, electrocution, being struck by an object, and being crushed. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
  3. Falls account for 39% of all construction deaths. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
  4. 1034 workplace fatalities took place in the U.S. in 2016. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
  5. An estimated 651,279 deaths per year are reported globally from diseases related to hazardous materials in construction. [ILO]

New Technologies

  1. 54% of construction companies have R&D departments for new technology. [JBK]
  2. Of the companies that do have R&D departments, 16% have more than 5 people in their department. [JBK]
  3. 37% of firms are experimenting with drones — up 10% from 2016.  [JBK]
  4. 57% of companies are considering job-site employee tracking. [JBK]
  5. Just 11% of general contractors are using wearable technology. [JBK]
  6. Only 24% of construction employees are “very comfortable” with new technology. [JBK]
  7. Last year saw a 12% growth in the number of construction firms using Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. [NBS]
  8. 39% of companies cite “lack of IT staff” as the most limiting factor in adopting new technology. [JBK]

Emerging Trends & Challenges

  1. 75% of construction firms now promote themselves through social media. [JBK]
  2. 96% of U.S. general contractors are moderately confident in commercial construction demand. [USCC]
  3. 91% of off-site construction is prefabrication, followed by modular construction at 78%. [Built Worlds]
  4. 86% of contractors say they are not effective or need improvement in prefabrication construction. [Built Worlds]
  5. 82% of contractors agree that BIM (Building Information Modeling) is the future of project information. [NBS]
  6. 70% of contractors say BIM is still not sufficiently standardized across the industry. [NBS]
  7. 90% of all global infrastructure projects are either over-budget or delayed. [FMI]
  8. The average backlog of projects for general contractors is 9.3 months, indicating a stable market with room for growth. [USCC]

Construction Rentals

  1. U.S. construction equipment rental sales are expected to reach $59 billion by 2021. [Statista]
  2. Construction equipment is rented for an average of 6 days. [BigRentz]
  3. 15% of rented equipment is for individual construction projects. [BigRentz]
  4. Equipment rental accounts for over 47% of industry revenue. [IBIS World]

Infographic highlighting key construction stats to know in 2019, including trends, workforce, and safety.