Comparing Construction Industry Sectors


Although we usually speak as one, the construction industry is often divided into four subsectors by various government agencies and industry interests: residential, commercial, infrastructure, and industrial.

To develop a workforce that meet the needs of the entire industry, we must consider these individual subsectors, what they do, how much money is spent to do it, and how many workers were employed in each. The new report “Michigan’s Construction Industry: By the Numbers,” tallies a wealth of information to help achieve that goal.

The residential subsector builds, remodels, and maintains our homes, including houses, apartments, condominiums, and other buildings. Approximately 50 percent of residential builders construct new homes or apartments. The remaining 50 percent of activity in this sector is comprised of remodeling, service, and maintenance.

Similarly, the commercial (or nonresidential) subsector builds, remodels, and maintains the buildings where we work, learn, heal, and worship.

The infrastructure subsector builds and maintains roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, and other critical public works.

The most specialized of the subsectors, industrial, builds the state’s most complex structures and facilities like power plants, chemical plants, and refineries.

Considering spending per subsector, the U.S. spent $1.164 trillion in 2016 on construction with the lion’s share, 40 percent, going to residential, followed by commercial with 33 percent, infrastructure with 17 percent, and industrial at 10 percent.

Interestingly, each subsector’s workforce percentage aligns closely with spending. Residential retained 39 percent of the overall workforce, with commercial and industrial combined carrying 47 percent, and infrastructure at 14 percent.

These are the latest data reflecting the past and laying the foundation for future industry workforce growth. To get the whole story, download your copy of Michigan’s Construction Industry: By the Numbers today and you will be signed up to automatically receive the upcoming construction industry workforce forecast being developed by Michigan Construction in partnership with the Construction Association of Michigan (CAM ), when it becomes available.

Michigan's Construction Industry: By the Numbers report brought to you by Michigan Construction.

Back to Blog