Construction industry employment grew by 192,000 wage and salary workers to 8.35 million in 2019, according to a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, the report found the share of construction industry employees that belong to a union dropped 0.2 percentage points from 12.8% in 2018 to just 12.6% in 2019.
The nonresidential merit shop construction sector continues to perform more than 10 years into the U.S. economy’s longest expansion. Backlog hovers near record highs at 8.8 months, according to ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator. And the latest ABC Construction Confidence Index increased with respect to sales, profit margins and staffing.
“The merit shop value proposition continues to deliver for workers and employers alike,” said Michael Bellaman, ABC president and CEO. “Allowing contractors to pay their skilled workforce based on merit, experience and productivity and compete to win work on a level playing field fuels the American economy and millions of career dreams.”
Across all industries, union membership declined to 10.3%, down 0.2 percentage points from 2018. That is the lowest unionization rate on record since BLS began tracking comparable data in 1983. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.6 million in 2019, was little changed from 2018.