U.S. says construction industry will need extra 501,000 jobs 

The  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates approximately 646,100 job openings annually in the construction industry from 2022 to 2032, with specific occupations expected to see significant demand increases.

This increase in demand is attributed to a shortage of workers in the skilled trade industry in the U.S., which struggles to meet the rising needs of the market. 

Nairametrics learnt that there has been a consistent demand for home repairs, with the construction of single-family homes being on the rise. The National Association of Home Builders estimated that to address the housing deficit, the U.S. needs to construct over 1.15 million single-family homes annually. 

For those choosing to remain in their current residences, the need for repairs and updates will inevitably increase as their homes age.  

Between 2022 and 2032, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster-than-average growth for employment opportunities in some skilled trades. Those looking to enter the skilled trades may want to research the areas with the biggest projected growth when planning their career trajectory. 

The table below shows the job outlook and additional jobs for a 10-year period: 


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics  

  • Why there are few skilled trade workers in the U.S.  

Fewer people in the United States opted for this career path due to the misconception that it offers low pay. 

However, with the projected growth in the sector, individuals joining the construction workforce can anticipate a consistent stream of work and competitive wages.  

“The biggest barriers I see are financial and also perception,” said Kyle Stumpenhorst, owner and founder of RR Buildings in Franklin Grove, Illinois.  

“Historically, young people have…been told the big money jobs are not in the trades.” 

“Yet, the opposite is true. The median salary for plumbers is $61,550 per year, while an electrician’s salary is around $61,590 per year.  

“Those who opt to start their own business in industries such as HVAC, construction, plumbing, residential cleaning, and tree maintenance can make over $1 million in annual revenue.  

“Knowing all this, the question of why there aren’t enough skilled trade workers in the U.S. is even more mystifying”, he said. 

  • What this means for Nigerians  

This may represent an opportunity for skilled artisans in Nigeria interested in pursuing their careers in the United States. 

Earlier, the Federal Government and the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) set up an initiative called Skill-Up Artisans (SUPA), which is committed to up-skilling, licensing, and empowering 10 million artisans in Nigeria over the period of two years.  

The initiative spearheaded by the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, aims to shift focus toward blue-collar jobs alongside white-collar professions, aligning with global trends that favour skilled labour due to technological advancements.

This effort will also enhance the capabilities of artisans through technology-driven skills training, licensing, provision of essential toolkits, and the promotion of industry-standard excellence. 

Given Nigeria’s growing population and the pressing need for ample job opportunities, this urgency was created to rejuvenate technical, vocational, and apprenticeship programs across the country. 

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