The Economic Impact of Construction in the United States and Vermont
Sunday, February 26, 2023
by: Ken Simonson

Section: AGC National

Economic Impact of Construction:
  • U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)—the value of all goods and services produced in the country—totaled $23.0 trillion in 2021; construction contributed $959 billion (4.2%).
  • In Vermont, construction contributed $1.2 billion (3.5%) of the state’s GDP of $36.2 billion.
  • There were 872,000 construction establishments in the U.S. in 2021, including 2,900 in Vermont. (An establishment is a fixed business location; about 99% of construction firms have only one establishment.)
Construction Spending:
  • Nonresidential spending in the U.S. totaled $823 billion in 2021 ($486 billion private, $338 billion public).
  • Residential construction spending in the U.S. totaled $803 billion ($423 billion single-family, $101 billion multifamily, $269 billion improvements, $9 billion public).
  • Private nonresidential spending in Vermont totaled $295 million in 2021. State and local spending totaled $723 million. (Totals are not available for residential, railroad, power, communication, or federal construction.)
Construction Employment (Seasonally Adjusted):
  • Construction (residential + nonresidential) employed 7.8 million workers in November 2022, an increase of 248,000 (3.3%) from November 2021, and an increase of 1.7% from February 2020, the peak pre-pandemic month.
  • Construction employment in Vermont in November 2022 totaled 15,300, an increase of 500 (3.4%) from November 2021 and unchanged from February 2020.
  • Contractors are having trouble filling positions, impeding the industry’s recovery. In the January 2023 AGC-Sage Construction Hiring & Business Outlook Survey, 80% of firms in the U.S. reported difficulty filling positions.
Construction Industry Pay:
  • Construction jobs pay well. In Vermont, 4 of the 5 most numerous construction occupations had median annual pay exceeding $50,000 in 2021. (Half of workers earn more than the median; half earn less.)