Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. construction industry is making a strong return this year. Only 96,000 building permits were issued in April 2020 – a five-year low. In contrast, in the US, an average of 135,500 building permits were issued per month in the first quarter of 2021.
This recovery begs the question: which cities will have the greatest need for construction workers?
We collected data from the census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Look at the opportunities, demand, pay, and cost of living for construction workers. Check out the top 5 cities for construction workers below.
Dallas is experiencing strong growth – the city has a 4-to-1 worker-to-permits ratio and had more permits than any other major city in February.
Dallas also quickly recovered from the downturn; Construction in Dallas had already returned to pre-pandemic levels. At the time, it was one of only two major US metropolises in which construction activity had fully recovered. In the same month, a quarter of the construction companies in Dallas did reported delivery bottlenecks and delays. Lack of supplies such as wood and paint drives up home prices and increases the need for additional living space.
Of course, the increased construction activity in Dallas has increased the demand for labor. Between the wide variety of jobs available and the below average cost of living, Dallas is an ideal destination for anyone looking to work in the construction industry.
Just after Dallas, Houston issued the second highest number of building permits in the country in February. To do this, it had to defeat New York City – a much larger metropolis. The cost of living in Houston is modest, but wages for construction workers tend to be higher than in Dallas or Austin.
One of the biggest drivers of construction in Houston (and other Texas cities) is the continued population growth in the area. Estimates from the early census point out that the state of Texas has experienced more population growth than any other state in the country over the past decade.
Minneapolis is the first non-Texas city on the list. On average, construction workers can expect to earn $ 57,100 while working in this field. The only city where workers are paid more is New York City, but that factor is largely mitigated by Minneapolis’ significantly lower cost of living.
The demand for construction workers in Minneapolis has grown rapidly, in part due to an increase in residential real estate. Today the city has a worker to permit ratio of 4 to 1, which makes it a great place to look for construction.
On its own, Austin’s building permit numbers would be worth a look – the city issued the third highest number of permits in the United States in February. However, that’s not the only reason the city is so high on this list.
The other important factor? Demand. Noisy Austin Business Journalthat the city had “an urgent need to build housing” and there was virtually no housing available in some areas. Construction to solve the problem continues, but this has resulted in a shortage of manpower and materials. Shortages of flooring materials such as wood and epoxy have slowed production, and prices in the resin market in particular are volatile, but demand in Austin remains strong.
Since 2016, construction in Phoenix has consistently exceeded the national US average. Despite the ongoing pandemic, this trend continued into 2020. In the past year a cumming research report found that the city’s home improvement market had grown 15%. Construction in Phoenix was largely driven by the city’s strong housing market.
The construction industry in Phoenix held up well this year too; In February, the city issued the fifth highest number of building permits in the country. However, the city’s strong hardware store has its price. With local construction booming for years, Phoenix has a labor shortage, making it a great choice for people in the construction industry.