The housing sector is a key driver of the black economy in the United States, and with black unemployment now at historic highs, many construction workers have seen their wages shrink in recent years.
Black construction workers who have found work in the construction industry are likely feeling the pain as construction jobs have been hit by job cuts, job losses, and closures.
In 2017, a report from the National Employment Law Project found that there are now just 8,400 black construction workers nationwide, and only 1,500 of those jobs are in the sector with the highest unemployment rate.
The number of construction jobs for black workers nationally has dropped by 20 percent since 2009, and the unemployment rate for black construction industry workers is the highest for any occupation in the country.
The lack of jobs for construction workers has led to a huge amount of frustration among black communities, especially in areas of urban and suburban areas, where black people make up nearly two-thirds of the population.
A growing number of black communities are trying to address this by opening up new housing construction jobs.
In February 2018, the Baltimore-based nonprofit Black Community Development Center released a report that found that the number of new jobs available in the African American construction industry had fallen by nearly half since 2013.
The report also found that nearly half of the jobs offered to African Americans in construction were in construction related to the construction of residential projects, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The construction industry has long had a low percentage of African Americans making it to the top tier of the workforce.
A 2014 study from the U.S. Census Bureau found that in 2017, only 11 percent of black construction employees were employed in the private, for-profit sector, according the National Association of Home Builders.
The Census Bureau reported that only 2 percent of construction workers were white, and fewer than one in five African Americans were employed.
The Black Community Construction Institute found that most African Americans who entered the construction field between 2004 and 2018 were from working class backgrounds, with only 9 percent of African American workers being in the upper echelon of construction industry.
The Institute’s survey found that African Americans are the lowest-paid workers in the field.
The survey found only 3 percent of Black construction workers had a college degree, and nearly half had no formal training at all.
The median annual earnings for African American and white construction workers is $24,000 and $23,600, respectively.
Black labor in construction is often segregated into jobs that pay significantly more than white workers, such as those in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Construction has long been a racially diverse industry, and its members are often heavily concentrated in certain neighborhoods.
The number of African-American construction workers nationally rose from 6.2 percent in 2009 to 16.6 percent in 2018, according a report released in December 2017 by the Center for American Progress.
The white construction industry grew from 1.4 percent to 2.9 percent between 2009 and 2017, while the private sector grew from 3.6 to 4.2.
The survey found a number of reasons for the high African-Black labor numbers, including a high level of discrimination and racial segregation in the industry.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has documented a steady increase in anti-black hate crimes since the late 1990s.
Black construction is also frequently targeted by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment, and many black workers are forced to live in segregated housing or at risk of being fired.
Black workers have been in a precarious position for years, and there are few avenues for them to make ends meet.
Black and brown communities have struggled with low wages, low education, and low job opportunities.
The black population has a higher poverty rate than any other demographic group, and unemployment has been at historically high levels since 2009.
Black communities have also been impacted by the Great Recession, which brought a massive wave of job cuts and other economic changes that pushed people into the construction sector.
While the economic downturn did not affect black construction in any way, many black communities have seen a significant reduction in wages, the loss of jobs, and a drop in construction jobs due to the downturn.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 2.4 million black workers in construction.
According to the National Council of La Raza, black construction jobs are expected to shrink by more than 30 percent over the next decade, and more than 50 percent of those positions are in construction-related jobs.
Black unemployment among construction workers in 2017 was 13.2% compared to 7.2%, according to Black Construction Industry Association data.