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REPORT: Wisconsin Construction Employment Trails National Average

October 31st, 2019 | Published by NEW Construction Alliance

According to a new report from a UW-Madison economics professor construction and real estate services account for 15 percent of our state’s gross domestic product (GDP) and it’s impact on Wisconsin’s economy is second only to the manufacturing sector. The industry accounts for 380,000 jobs in the Badger State.

The report’s author, Mark Eppli, recently told WXPR in an interview that despite these impressive numbers the construction industry trails most other states,“We're about 26 percent below that of the nation as a whole.”

In Wisconsin, employment attributable to construction and real estate services is 7.9 percent versus the national average of 9.6 percent.

Eppli attributes the disparity to a combination of factor: land, labor and legislation. In terms of labor, he stated, “We have a shortage available relative to the demand, especially in construction. One of the things we can think about there is training at tech schools and apprenticeships."

Limits on land availability and capital are another challenge he mentions, but he points to restrictions as one of the biggest factors slowing construction:

 “A little over 24 percent of a new home is attributable to regulatory costs. There is some need for OSHA and some oversight. But some of the regulatory costs make it difficult to develop and particularly here in Wisconsin where the price point is a little bit lower.”

You can read the whole report from the Wisconsin Realtors Association here.

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