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TACL - Total Available Construction Labor - September 2021


The Road Dog Jobs created Total Available Construction Labor (TACL) metric for September 2021 is 35,000. This metric compares the unemployed construction workforce against open jobs in construction. The result is a macro measure of whether, mathematically, the construction industry workforce has enough people in the workforce to fill open construction jobs.

For September 2021 this means that there are 35,000 more unemployed workers in construction than open jobs.

We can track this metric going back to December 2000, which represents 250 months of data. The September 2021 TACL metric is the 13th lowest number putting it in the bottom 5% of all time months. Over the 250 months of data, the average TACL is 543,000.


Also concerning is the long-term trend in TACL. Going back to the early 2000s in the pre financial crisis era, TACL averaged 489,000 people – and this was through a booming economy.

Industry growth, demographic turnover and difficulty getting new people into the industry at a fast enough rate have all contributed to the problem.

All these numbers lead to the same conclusion; the construction labor market is in an historic shortage.