Employment of construction laborers and helpers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.
Employment of construction laborers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Laborers work in all fields of construction, and demand for laborers will mirror the level of overall construction activity. Repairing and replacing the nation's infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and water lines, should result in steady demand for laborers.
Although employment growth of specific types of helpers is expected to vary (see table below), overall demand for helpers will be driven by the construction of homes, schools, office buildings, factories, and power plants. Remodeling activity will also result in some new jobs. Roofer, electrician, and brickmason, blockmason, stonemason, and tile and marble setter helpers are all projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because roofer helpers is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 1,700 new jobs over the 10-year period.
Construction laborers who are able to perform a wide range of tasks should have the best job opportunities. Job opportunities for helpers will vary by occupation; for example, electrician's helpers should have the best job prospects, while helpers for roofers will likely find fewer job openings. In addition, veterans are viewed favorably during initial hiring.
Employment of construction laborers and helpers is especially sensitive to the fluctuations of the economy. On the one hand, workers in these trades may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, shortages of these workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity.
Construction Laborers and Helpers
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Helpers, construction trades
Construction laborers and helpers
Construction and extraction occupations
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program