Posted January 17, 2018

Immigrants held record share of U.S. construction jobs in 2016

U.S. residents shut out by the recession have not returned to the industry. 

The National Association of Homebuilders said Monday that 24.4 percent of U.S. construction workers were immigrants in 2016, the highest share on record.

But the high percentage of immigrant workers is not because immigrants are taking more jobs, according to the group. Instead, it's because native-born workers are not returning to the sector in the wake of the recession.

A "slow, delayed and reluctant post-recession return of native-born workers underlies the shift towards the higher reliance on immigrants in the construction work force," noted Natalia Siniavskaia, the group's assistant vice president for housing policy research.

The group noted there were 200,000 fewer immigrant construction workers in 2016 than there were during the height of the housing bubble in 2007, according to the NAHB's analysis of Census data. In that year, 22.8 percent of the construction workforce was made up of immigrants.

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Source: Washington Examiner