“Few industries are as diverse or as complex as construction,” says LHSFNA Management Co-Chairman Noel C. Borck, “and it can be examined from many perspectives. One of the most up-to-date and visually stimulating formats is The Construction Chart Book. It’s really a great resource.”

The fourth edition has just been published. Through a series of 50 topics, the Chart Book presents the facts about the U.S. construction industry and then augments each topic with an array of colorful graphs, pie charts and other visual presentations. Topics are grouped by:

  • Industry summary
  • Labor force characteristics
  • Employment and income
  • Education and training
  • Safety and health

The authors present a summary of their main findings it their introduction. These overarching notations include:

  • The number of construction establishments increased 9.2 percent from 2.55 to 2.78 million between 1997 and 2002.
  • For the last decade, construction industry growth has exceeded the national economy as a whole.
  • Companies with one to nine employees make up 79 percent of all establishments with payroll but employ only 24 percent of the workforce.
  • The average age of a construction worker is 39, three years older than two decades ago.
  • Union members in construction have substantial advantages in educational attainment, wages, health insurance coverage, retirement plan enrollment, training and employment tenure, compared to non-union workers.
  • Work-related deaths have declined 22 percent from 1992 to 2005, and days away from work due to work-related illness or injuries have dropped 55 percent.

The Chart Book’s sources for each topic are carefully documented, and a complete set of references is listed in the back, along with a glossary and some appendices. The authors also present an evaluation of the limitations of their data. Links to the pages on safety and health topics are here.

Published by the CPWR Center for Construction Research and Training, the fourth edition of the Chart Book is now available through Amazon.com or with a $15 check or money order sent to CPWR (8484 Georgia Ave., Suite 1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910). Beginning April 1, a free download will be available at the CPWR website.

[Steve Clark]