The pandemic has contributed significantly to labor shortages seen throughout the construction industry. While recent steps have been taken to try and fill missing spots, including the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, demand remains unmet.
Interestingly enough, during this time of tight labor, the industry has also seen an increase in female workers, leading to an all-time high of female construction workers. Today, women make up 14% of the construction workforce, compared to the previous high of 13.5% last seen in October 2009.
The move to add women to the construction workforce has been strong for the last six years. This is likely the result of high unemployment, as well as a volatile labor market, leading recruiters to look elsewhere for new talent.
A large majority of the women joining the construction workforce are actually Hispanic, experiencing 117% growth in the number of individuals in the industry since 2016. In fact, in 2020, Hispanic women surpassed white women in the industry.
While rates within the industry vary state-to-state, some seeing greater percentages than others, sometimes as great as a 10% difference, overall the industry is growing its female workforce. As the consequences of the pandemic continue to plague the construction industry, growing the workforce is a positive, especially as infrastructure projects increase and demand continues to rise.