Recently released projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the construction industry as the only goods-producing sector where employment is expected to grow over the next decade. The BLS's 10-year projections are often used in career guidance and in studying long-range employment trends.

According to the BLS, “construction and extraction occupations are expected to grow 15 percent,” which will compound the industry's current labor shortages.

Other factors to consider include the expected increase in the Hispanic labor force - 23.8 million by 2012 - due to population growth and increased immigration levels. Also, the construction labor force continues to age (the 55-and-older group will grow by 49.3 percent). This opens new opportunities in the industry for youth, minorities and women.

“Even the unemployed can turn to the construction industry for jobs,” Associated General Contractors of America CEO Stephen E. Sandherr said in a statement.