Central PA Construction Labor Force
The construction sector as it is classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) contains business establishments that primarily engage in the construction of buildings or engineering projects such as highways and utility systems. These businesses participate in activities such as preparation of sites for new construction, additions or alterations of sites and buildings, maintenance and repairs, and prepping land for subdivision.
The construction industry was definitely impacted during the recession years particularly as it relates to the number of employees. However, the industry sector has been witnessing some positive movements again in the number of employees over the past few years. According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2006 to 2011, the United States saw a decrease of about 29% (or -5.8% per year) in the number of construction employees. Since 2011, there has been an increase of 21.6% (or +44.3% per year) in the number of new construction employees. The average wage of construction workers has also been on an upward trend. In April of 2016, the average hourly earnings of construction employees was $27.90 per hour. This wage has increased 11.1% over the past five years, and about 23.8% over the past ten years.
construction employment in central pennsylvania
In the Central Pennsylvania region (a combination of Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York Counties), the construction industry sector has not seen any rebounds in the number of businesses or employees as of 2015 in comparison with the previous seven years. From 2010 to 2015, the number of construction establishments decreased by about 11.9% (or about -1.98% per year) while the number of employees decreased 19.8% (or -3.30% per year).
In the graphs below, a comparison of the number of construction related businesses and employees are broken out by the nine Central Pennsylvania counties in 2010 and 2015. Lancaster, Cumberland, and Lebanon Counties saw the lowest percentage of decrease in the number of construction businesses over this time frame, while Perry, Cumberland, and Lancaster Counties experienced the least amount of change (%) in the number of construction employees.
employment by industry classification
In Central Pennsylvania, the top 3 industry classifications in the construction sector in 2015 by the number of employees were: Building Equipment Contractors (12,406); Building Foundation and Exterior Contractors (5,935); and Non-Residential Building Construction (5,617). Of the classifications listed in the table below, Land Subdivision establishments and Utility Systems Construction establishments were the only two groups to see positive growth in the number of employees from 2008 to 2015. In fact, the Utility Systems Construction sector saw an increase of more than double the employees during that time frame.
The heat map above displays the distribution of construction employees throughout the Central Pennsylvania region by zip code. The darker-shaded areas represent those zip codes that have a higher number of construction employees, while lighter-shaded areas represent zip codes that have a fewer number of construction employees.