Construction Quick Facts

State-by-state Quick Facts | North Carolina | South Carolina
US Census stats

The Economic Impact of Construction in the United States

The Impact of Nonresidential Construction on GDP, Earnings and Jobs:

  • An extra $1 billion in nonresidential construction spending would add about $3.4 billion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), about $1.1 billion to personal earnings and create or sustain 28,500 jobs.
    • 9,700 jobs would be direct construction jobs located in the state of investment.
    • 4,600 jobs would be indirect jobs from supplying construction materials and services. The majority of these jobs would be located within the state of investment but there would be some out of state jobs supported.
    • 14,300 jobs would be induced when workers and owners in construction and supplier businesses spend their incomes locally and nationwide.

Construction Employment and Unemployment:

  • The construction industry (residential plus nonresidential) went into recession a year before the overall economy and still has not emerged from it. Employment peaked at 7.7 million in mid-2006, seasonally adjusted, and fell to 5.6 million (down 28%) by July 2010. The industry's unemployment rate in July 2010 was 17.3%, not seasonally adjusted, nearly double the all-industry rate.

Construction Spending:

  • Construction spending totaled $908 billion in 2009. Private nonresidential construction spending accounted for $347 billion, public spending for $315 billion, and private residential spending for $246 billion.

Construction Materials, Supplies and Machinery:

  • In 2009 U.S. manufacturers shipped $474 billion in construction materials and supplies (11% of total factory shipments ) and $24 billion in new equipment (9% of total machinery shipments).

Construction Industry Pay:

  • In 2009 annual pay of all construction workers in the United States averaged $49,300, 9% more than the average for all private sector employees.

Small Business:

  • The United States had 773,600 construction firms in 2008, of which 91% were small businesses employing fewer than 20 workers. Only 1% had 100 or more employees. The typical construction firm size is very small. In 2008, there were 773,600 construction firms with 7.0 million paid employees. Thus, average employment was less than nine per firm. More than 2.5 million additional construction firms had no paid employees - mainly self-employed individuals but also partnerships and holding companies.

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