Union Construction Continues to Expand – And That’s No Accident

Tom Owens

Union Construction Continues to Expand – And That’s No Accident

WASHINGTON, DC – The following statement was released today by North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) in response to the recent release by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics of its annual report on union labor membership and market density:

“The recent release by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reaffirms the fact that the union construction sector continues on an upward growth trajectory for membership and market share. Construction unions added 99,000 members in 2016, with the percentage of construction workers represented by a union increasing by 1%. Since 2010, at the low point of the Great Recession/Depression for the U.S. construction industry, North America’s Building Trades Unions have added 238,000 members, according to BLS data.

“But, the BLS numbers do not tell the whole story. For 2016, actual union density in the US construction industry, exclusive of residential construction, is fast approaching 45 percent nationwide, an increase of 5% in just a few short years.

“These numbers are not surprising given the fact that large segments of private industry, especially in the commercial, heavy and industrial sectors, are increasingly turning to unionized craft professionals because of our value, reliability, quality workmanship, workforce development programs, and the consistent delivery of ‘on-time, on-budget’ project results.

“North America’s Building Trades Unions continue to be well-positioned, via our formal apprenticeship training and apprenticeship-readiness programs, to meet the significant projected and future construction labor demands in the energy sector, as well as to meet the skilled craft workforce needs associated with bi-partisan plans for public infrastructure investments.”

North America’s Building Trades Unions is an alliance of 14 national and international unions in the building and construction industry that collectively represent over 3 million skilled craft professionals in the United States and Canada. Each year, our unions and our signatory contractor partners invest over $1 billion in private sector money to fund and operate over 1,900 apprenticeship training and education facilities across North America that produce the safest, most highly trained and productive skilled craft workers found anywhere in the world.