Workforce by the Numbers is our monthly look at the statistics and data that are shaping the workforce in the Charlotte region.
Dodge Analytics, the leading provider of data analytics for the North American construction industry, predicts that it will grow by six percent in 2016. Currently, approximately 35,154 people are employed in the construction industry in Mecklenburg County.
The construction industry, both locally and nationally, took a hit in 2008 as a result of the economic downturn. But the industry has rebounded: the average construction wage has increased by more than $8,500 since the first quarter of 2011, and there are many of new construction projects underway around the county.
For example, Topgolf, an entertainment complex located in southwest Charlotte, will begin construction on a 65,000-square-foot facility expected to open in early 2017. When completed, its economic output is expected to be $264.5 million over 10 years; Topgolf expects to bring more than 450 jobs to the area.
There are a number of other construction projects in Mecklenburg County; the Charlotte Agenda mapped more than 30 Uptown Charlotte projects alone, spanning hotels and apartment complexes to restaurants and retail space. These developments will not only make Uptown Charlotte a more viable place to live, work and play, but the businesses will ultimately employ hundreds of people, helping to continue to grow the local economy.
Construction laborer is the most in-demand occupation in the construction industry. More than 3,000 people are currently employed as construction laborers in Mecklenburg County. Most people undergo short-term, on-the-job training and wages begin at approximately $13 per hour.
The top 10 construction employers in Mecklenburg County have hired more than 200 people this year. Parsons Corporation is the top construction industry employer in the county to date this year.
Source: Wanted Analytics
In response to the increasing demand for trained construction workers, the Urban League of Central Carolinas joined forces with the Charlotte Chamber and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to launch a new Highway Construction Academy. Bank of America Corporation, Duke Energy Corporation and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have supported the initiative financially.
The Academy will train Mecklenburg County citizens for various jobs on construction projects. Its ultimate goal is to increase infrastructure projects and create opportunities for economic mobility.
The eight-week course is free-of-charge to students. The first class of 18 students began in April.
Research and Reporting Fellow Cortney Graham assists with collecting, analyzing and reporting workforce data and monitoring Charlotte Works’s progress toward meeting performance outcomes. She most recently served as a high school social studies teacher in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, where she used data to help improve student achievement. Graham’s background also includes research and data collection as the research assistant to the Provost at Winston-Salem State University. She is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and public administration. Graham is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public administration from UNC Charlotte and will graduate in May 2017.