Cities With the Youngest and Oldest Construction Workers

Cities With the Youngest and Oldest Construction Workers
Construction workers
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This story originally appeared on Construction Coverage.

The construction industry is struggling to attract young workers, contributing to a persistent labor shortage. Demand for new home construction continues to be high, and many construction companies are unable to find the workers needed in order to meet demand.

As the share of young construction workers declines, the construction workforce is getting older. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age of construction workers was 41 in 2019, up from 39 a decade prior.

While once popular with young workers, the construction industry now skews older than some other industries that attract young people. The median age of workers in the hospitality industry is 30, while the median age of retail workers is 36. The median age of workers across all industries is 41, the same as in construction.

To find the metropolitan areas with the youngest and oldest construction workers in the U.S., researchers at Construction Coverage, a review website for construction management software and builders risk insurance, analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The researchers ranked metro areas according to the median age of construction workers.

Researchers also calculated the share of construction workers under 30, the share of construction workers over 50, and the total number of construction workers in the labor force.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis.

Following are the metros with the youngest and oldest construction workers.

1. Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City skyline
Natalia Bratslavsky / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 35
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 28.2%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 20.2%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 46,216

2. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, Utah
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 36
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 29.2%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 17.1%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 41,070

3. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

San Antonio at night.
f11 photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 38
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 27.1%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 23.9%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 82,680

4. Tucson, AZ

Tucson, AZ
Sean-Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 38
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 26.6%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 24.1%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 23,676

5. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Dallas, Texas
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 38
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 26%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 20.4%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 249,321

6. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

Charlotte North Carolina
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 38
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 25.9%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 20.9%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 68,740

7. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

Houston, Texas
Nate Hovee / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 38
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 25.5%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 20%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 264,965

8. Austin-Round Rock, TX

Austin, Texas
Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 38
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 22.5%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 21.7%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 66,627

9. Columbus, OH

Columbus, Ohio
Randall Vermillion / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 39
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 33%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 26.3%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 35,763

10. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 39
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 30.1%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 28.9%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 23,908

Following are the large metros with the oldest construction workers.

1. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

Miami Beach Ocean Drive at dusk
Tono Balaguer / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 45
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 16.4%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 35%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 182,224

2. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

Port of Baltimore, Maryland tugboat
Cascade Creatives / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 44
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 19.9%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 37.2%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 44,891

3. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY

Buffalo, New York
Atomazul / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 44
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 20.7%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 36.1%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 23,067

4. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

The skyline of Hartford Connecticut, where median rents are relatively low
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 44
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 18.5%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 35%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 24,847

5. Cleveland-Elyria, OH

Cleveland, Ohio
Pedro Gutierrez / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 44
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 17.8%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 32.5%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 42,397

6. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

Chicago, Illinois
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 43
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 19%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 30.6%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 205,827

7. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh
mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 42
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 21.8%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 36.2%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 49,472

8. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

Detroit
Jason Grindle / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 42
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 25.9%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 31.4%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 76,962

9. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 42
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 18.2%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 31.2%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 27,853

10. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

Boston, Massachusetts
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Median age of construction workers: 42
  • Share of construction workers under 30: 18.2%
  • Share of construction workers over 50: 30.6%
  • Total construction workers in the labor force: 116,757

Detailed findings and methodology

Man using too much data on his phone, tablet and laptop
Bacho / Shutterstock.com

The Oklahoma City metro area boasts the most youthful construction workforce among all large metros, with half of its construction workers under age 35. Texas is home to four of the large metro areas with the youngest construction workers, where each has a median age of 38 for its construction worker labor force. Among the small and midsize metros with the youngest construction workers, some places skew even younger, with median construction worker ages in the lower 30s.

The large metros with the oldest construction workers are located on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Median construction worker ages in these metros are in the mid-40s, higher than the national median of 41. On average, construction workers over age 50 account for one-third of all construction workers in these cities.

To find the cities with the youngest and oldest construction workers in the U.S., researchers at Construction Coverage analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample. The researchers ranked metro areas according to the median age of construction workers.

In the event of a tie, the metro with the larger share of construction workers under 30 was ranked higher for the youngest worker list, and the metro with the larger share of construction workers over 50 was ranked higher for the oldest worker list. Researchers also calculated the total number of construction workers in the labor force.

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