According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of women construction workers has increased steadily since 2016 and is now at an all time high. An analysis of the data by the Washington Post found that the previous highest point for women in construction was October 2009 when women made up 13.5% of the workforce. As of this past August, that mark was surpassed with women workers comprising 14% of the industry workforce.
The biggest spike in growth is among Hispanic women- a 117% increase over the last six years. In fact, 2020 marked the point where White women were overtaken in market share by Hispanic women.
The construction industry has seen exceptionally high demand for workers in recent years. 2016 B.L.S. data showed that the unemployment rate in construction was the lowest since 2000 meaning that recruiters were forced to implement new strategies in finding employees. Labor groups and employers have stepped up efforts to remove hurdles and broaden the pool of trade workers due to necessity- opening pathways to women to enter the industry.
At last month's North American Building Trades Union’s Tradeswomen Build Nations Conference, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo pledged to keep the momentum going. Raimondo pointed up the administration's goal of doubling the number of women in construction — from 1 million to 2 million — over the next decade.
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