Employee productivity is a vital metric that workplaces measure to ensure important tasks are getting accomplished. In construction, these tasks include bricklaying, pouring concrete, hanging drywall, etc.
Investment Monitor cited new April 2022 figures from GlobalData, which indicate that the North American market is far healthier than many other regions of the world—at least in most construction sectors.
February was a tough act to follow - total construction starts fell 12%.
At the height of the pandemic, the State of Illinois passed the 'Illinois Preference Act', requiring 90% of construction workers must be residents. Recently, that bill was retired after unemployment dropped below 5%.
It's a perfect storm: high demand crashing with supply-chain and logistical delays. Add in low interest rates which increase the volume, and you're either going to be patient or pay higher interest rates.
A report from the University of Berkley Labor Center, researching Michigan's construction industry, found that one in three workers receives public assistance, including Medicaid, cash payments, food stamps, or earned income tax credits.
A new partnership between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Construction Ready plans to create more jobs with a free program. Their 20-day intensive course offers people hands-on experience.
Residential and commercial builders struggle with obstacles that can delay deadlines and blow budgets. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, five main problems stand in new property owners' way before builders can hand over the keys:
With costs rising and delays impending, construction site thefts become more commonplace. A Virginian contractor, when viewing security footage, witnessed a white pickup truck pulling up to his job site in broad daylight. Thieves loaded more than 200 2x4s into the bed. They also drove to the backside of the building and stole several panels of OSB.
The nation currently faces record-high gas prices; some construction companies feel the pain a little worse than others. For example, in El Cajon, CA, diamond Roofing faces prices above $6.00 a gallon.
The supply chain problems that arose after COVID remain. Erin Roberts from Ernst & Young's global construction and engineering practice, says: "With prices as high as 50% more than they were pre-pandemic, it's hard to find the materials you're looking for, which is leading contractors to hoard what they can find, building temporary warehouses where they can store materials. With suppliers, cash rules all, and credit is scarce.
A Friday newsletter from the Associated General Contractors of America claims that Russia's conflict with Ukraine will likely drive up the prices of fuel, copper, and aluminum. The war also could further impact global shipping and supply chains.
The February jobs report surpassed expectations by revealing a 60,000 increase in the construction workforce; this represents 99% of pre-pandemic jobs.
The pandemic affected the hospitality industry with significant shrinkage in the construction of hotels, restaurants, casinos, and other hospitality buildings. But the recent economic recovery shows positive signs, such as stalled projects now underway--some on hiatus since before 2020.
US homebuilders started the season at a seasonally-adjusted 1.64 million in January, down 4% from the previous month, the US Census Board reported last week. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a median pace of 1.69 housing starts and for building permits to come in at 1.75 million.
The labor shortage remains a thorn in the side of construction companies. Forbes reports that construction experiences more impact due to this issue than any other sector, including hospitality and tourism.
Cybercrime attacks affect more and more companies. The numbers indicate fear expressed by significant corporations. Statista forecasts a $354 billion growth in the cyber security market by 2026. Researchers conclude that the construction, energy, and engineering spaces lie in the crosshairs.
As the world sees construction cost broken records due to lack of labor and materials, Europe warns that a new problem approaches: a massive spike in energy prices.
Lumber prices--in constant flux--rose, fell, and rose again. New analysis shows that high prices don't present the danger so much as market volatility. The cost of lumber fluctuates more than it has since overseers kept records at the end of World War II.
Most American business sectors currently suffer from the labor shortage, but the construction industry's hiring dearth reaches back further than the pandemic. Builders have struggled to regain workers in every trade since the Great Recession.
This week the Maui County Council voted to overturn Mayor Mike Victorino’s veto of a bill that would halt all new hotel construction for the next two years. Councilmember Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, who introduced the bill, said that this isn’t intended to stop tourists from coming to the island; they only want to give the county more time to figure out how to accommodate the increasing number of tourists, as well as find more available low-income housing for Maui residents.
The National Home Builders Association says increasing prices could cause the average new single-family home to increase by $18,600. Lumber prices hit record highs in May of 2021. During a brief price drop, the construction industry hoped to return to pre-pandemic numbers; unfortunately, costs snapped back up.
According to the Commerce Department on January 3rd, Spending on construction projects rose 0.4% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.63 trillion, less than the Wall Street Journal’s prediction of a 0.7% increase.
On December 15th, Japan's Prime Minister admitted overstatements by the government regarding the value of some construction orders; this struck a blow to investors and economists' confidence in the country's official statistics.
Census data from last week shows a 12% jump in housing starts in November over October; this occurred amid construction industry struggles such as the labor and materials shortage and all-time highs in construction costs.
Waco, Texas builders feel the heat of post-pandemic materials and labor price hikes. But perhaps no job site feels the pain more than the Cameron Park Zoo, a non-profit that relies on fundraising to expand. The zoo began construction with financing in place—prices spun out of control.
According to research from NordLocker, ransomware targets construction companies hardest out of 35 different industries. This information comes from an analysis of 1,200 global companies targeted by ransomware between 2020 and 2021.
Construction companies claim that the labor shortage forces them to pay higher wages for lower-skilled workers.
A northern Nevada rancher plans to block construction of the United States’ largest lithium mine with a lawsuit; he alleges a conflict of interest on the part of the project’s chief consultant that downplays potential harm to water resources and wildlife.
With low mortgage rates, plentiful jobs, and the market’s desire for more space, the housing boom in the United States stands at record levels. Last week the National Association of Home Builders announced a 7% jump from August; such levels haven’t existed since the housing boom in 2007.
Despite supply chain slowdowns and rising housing costs, builder confidence rose 4 points in the last month to 80 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Though down from 85 in October 2020 and down from the record high of 90 in November, analysts consider anything above 50 to be positive.
Whether in board meetings or on job sites, construction employees at all levels express concern regarding the unprecedented hikes in building costs.
It’s no secret that the shortage of skilled labor, both in the United States and worldwide, impacts the construction industry. A report released on September 22nd, 2021 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce states that 92% of contractors experienced “moderate to high levels of difficulty” finding workers. In addition, 93% of contractors expect hiring to become more complex.
Amid a construction community atmosphere already stretched to breaking by labor shortages, a Seattle carpenters union takes an unexpected path by voting to go on strike. The results: 56% for, 44% against striking.
Amid declining prices of some building materials, such as lumber, since their early 2021 peaks, other materials costs remain at record highs. Steel, paint, fixtures, and appliances top the list. As a result, economists believe exorbitant prices will persist.
The construction industry needs new blood; labor shortages exist everywhere, and methods of attracting new hires increase in complexity.
Despite a tough eighteen months for the construction industry, residential construction proceeds at a break-neck pace. But increased costs and uncertain build schedules increase the difficulty of home construction. Construction spending sits 8.2% higher than one year ago.
Last week, Hyundai Heavy Industries purchased Doosan Infracore, creating a combined company in the top ten largest global construction equipment manufacturers. The plan makes Doosan Infracore a subsidiary of Hyundai Genuine group, of which Hyundai Construction Equipment is also a subsidiary.
According to new data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on August 12, nonresidential construction prices have increased 23.4% since this time last year, including a 0.8% increase over last month.
The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed in the Senate last week includes an investment in construction technology of $100 million spread over five years. The government intends to focus the funds on digital construction technologies such as BIM, 3D modeling software, and digital project management.
The Commerce Department released a report on August 2nd indicating that construction spending inched up a slight 0.1% in June; this was a tradeoff as private projects increased and public sector construction projects dropped.
According to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) report in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the national construction unemployment rate dropped 2.6% in June compared to the same month last year. Forty-five states experienced decreases, though the rates have not rebounded back to pre-pandemic levels.
Based in Oakland, CA, the construction technology company Mighty Buildings raised $22 million last month, increasing its total funding to more than $100 million as it goes after the sustainable construction market. Mighty Buildings pursues a goal of creating net-zero carbon emission homes by 2028.
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) released its report for May 2021, showing that the demand for architectural services is at a record high. The ABI measures demand through tracking signed contracts. It hit 58.5 in May, up from 57.9 in April. (Anything above 50 indicates an increase over the previous month. Anything lower than 50 marks a decrease.)
According to a new report from Associated Builders and Contractors, the construction industry—already short on workers before the pandemic—needs to hire 430,000 more laborers in 2021 for a total of 1,000,000before the end of 2022.
Dropping to the lowest price they've been since January, lumber fell 4% on Friday to $689 per thousand board feet; this represents a dramatic drop over the last nine weeks after the prices topped out at $1670 on May 7th.
East High School in Des Moines hosts a free construction camp for girls aged 14 to 18. The class includes some lecture time and plenty of hands-on experience, such as wiring a three-way light switch.
After the federal government passed a bipartisan deal for $973 billion in infrastructure spending last Thursday, the S&P 500 posted its best week since April, closing out Friday at new record highs. Shares of construction giants Caterpillar, Martin Marietta Materials, and Vulcan Materials traded higher on the news.
A new report from the National Association of Realtors revealed a slowdown in construction over the past twenty years—primarily due to focus on single-family homes rather than multi-family houses. The result: a 5.5-million-unit shortfall.
Like the United States post-pandemic recovery plan, the European Union passed an €800 billion program to speed the continent's recovery. But now, construction executives and organizations warn that a rapid rise in construction costs may cause a significant speed bump in that plan and may stop the recovery altogether.
The economy added 559,000 jobs in May, and the unemployment rate fell from 6.1% to 5.8%. However, despite the job gains and a massive labor shortage that has plagued construction, the industry lost a net 20,000 jobs; this comes after an April with no increase in construction jobs.
The exploding residential market continues to skyrocket, rising as quickly as manpower and material supplies can accommodate. And yet, new national data from the first quarter of 2021 shows that existing homes sell for higher prices than new construction.
Due to high demand, of all industries, construction perhaps most seamlessly weathered COVID-19. Hence, construction workers enjoy premium pay. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts construction employment adding 4% year-on-year from now through 2029, compared to a national job average of 3.7%. The BLS expects to see the most growth in solar photovoltaic installers (up 50.5%), tile and stone workers (up 8.6%), and electricians (up 8.4%).
Adroit Market Research announced that they expect the construction plastics market to reach $140.7 billion by 2028 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.67%. Polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, polyethylene, polyurethanes, and other materials comprise the construction plastics market. Builders use these materials for various purposes, including roofing, walls and coverings, pipes and ducts, and windows.
Every construction company knows about the drastic shortage of skilled labor entering the market. Numerous polls cite this shortage as the number one or two concern among contractors, builders, and owners.
With single-family home starts down 13% in April, compared to March, many potential homeowners wonder why a slowdown persists during a period of high demand. The answer: lack of workers and scarcity of building materials.
A recent consensus from the American Institute of Architects predicted an 11% decrease in office construction. Tech-driven cities such as Manhattan, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area drive the growth. Builders constructed 25 million square feet of office space in the first two months of 2021, with more coming.
The Dodge Momentum Index, a monthly measurement of nonresidential building projects in planning, jumped 8.6% last month, climbing to 162.4 over 149.5 in March; this happened despite hitting its nine-year low in January; the index grew 77% over the previous three months. Healthcare and laboratory projects lead the index, while commercial projects have slipped with fewer warehouses in production. Overall, the index sits 31% higher than in April of last year.
With demand for office space in many big cities—from Melbourne to New York City to London—at significant lows, some housing advocates push to turn empty office space into residential apartments.
According to data from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), spending declined in 11 of the 16 nonresidential subcategories. Private nonresidential spending fell 0.9%, while public nonresidential dropped 1.5% in March.
Despite the massive worker shortage plaguing construction, new figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that homebuilders have slowed their hiring pace. The trend moves upward at a crawling pace.
With a season of extreme shortages in new home availability, promising signs of increased production might catch up with demand.
Autodesk published its 2021 Construction Outlook, which analyzes the current construction situation and forecasts the upcoming year. In an interview with Forbes, Autodesk Senior VP and General Manager, Jim Lynch, gave an optimistic assessment: “The big takeaway is that the market is back.”
U.S. housing construction grew at the fastest pace since 2006 in March as builders recovered from the February weather-related slowdowns. Builders began construction on new homes at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.74 million units in March, up 19.4% over February when building fell 11%. As the fastest boom in growth since the 2006 housing craze, some economists are pleased while others are wary.
Despite the blockbuster residential market, as a post-vaccination country re-opens for business as usual, construction industry problems remain. Two issues hang over the construction industry's head: material and supply chain and labor shortages.
The unemployment rate dropped to 6%, adding 916,000 jobs to the economy. The construction industry, with 110,000 new jobs, represented a significant portion of the employment growth.
The massive boom in residential construction remains in the news, even with a slowdown at the beginning of 2021. Most anticipate the market to stay strong throughout the remaining year.
This week in Texas, a federal grand jury returned an indictment on Michael Angelo Padron with one conspiracy charge to commit wire fraud and eight counts of wire fraud, along with two co-conspirators. According to the charges, Padron placed a service-disabled veteran, Ruben Villareal (one of the co-conspirators), as frontman at his construction company to acquire Small Business Association contracts reserved for veteran-owned businesses.
A Fox Business report this week cites an increase in women moving into the construction industry. Within the past 12 months, many more women than men lost their jobs due primarily to womens’ prominence in the retail, hospitality, and travel industries.
In a year that has seen massive layoffs and millions of people looking for work, you'd think that construction—an industry that has historically suffered from significant labor shortages—would fill vacancies with the flood of unemployed workers. Construction companies have found increasing difficulty hiring skilled laborers.
2021 looks to be a challenging year for construction, reports Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a worldwide real estate conglomerate. JLL predicts a 5% to 8% drop in overall nonresidential construction.
The IRS convicted Hugo Cruz-Medina, a 33-year-old from Jacksonville, Fl., of several counts of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and illegally entering the country after being deported. He received a three-to-five-year sentence in federal prison and orders to pay his victims $3,266,506.33 in restitution, as well as a punitive amount of $1,408,712.08, which were the proceeds of his mail and wire fraud.
The Australian construction company Lendlease reported last week that its operating profit had fallen 26% from the same period in 2019, from AU $278 million (U.S. $219 million) to AU$205 million ($162 million.) It also cut its dividend by 50%.
Fortune magazine has published its annual ranking of most admired companies in all sectors, including construction and engineering. The category leader was AECOM, followed by Jacobs, Quanta Services, MasTec, and KBR.
The Associated General Contractors of America's "2021 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook" report uncovers a significant post-pandemic slowdown. The information also doesn't predict a return to typical construction in 2021.
Autodesk, the maker of Revit and AutoCAD, has acquired Spacemaker, an artificial intelligence-based software company to increase automation opportunities for its portfolio.
Residential construction saw a 5.8% increase in home starts in December over the previous month, putting the seasonally adjusted annual rate at 1.67 million homes. Compared with 2019, home starts were up 17%, the highest level since 2006, before the burst of housing bubble.
Fewer young people are entering the construction industry; this could translate into an increasing labor shortage. Compared to 2009, there were 330,000 fewer construction workers between the ages of 20-29 than in 2019.
Last month saw a drop in 140,000 jobs, attributable to increases in COVID cases and efforts to contain the pandemic, said a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, there was good news for construction: the industry's jobs grew 51,000 in December.
The Q4 2020 numbers were released from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index and reported that the number of material shortages was growing at an alarming rate, primarily due to the pandemic.
After a record 6,100,000 new jobs added to the US economy in October, November saw a massive plunge, gaining only 245,000 jobs, which is the slowest month’s gain in six months.
One of the oldest electrical contracting companies, Rosendin, with nearly 7000 workers, is looking to an unusual source for its training: gamers. Founded in 1919 and active in commercial, institutional, transportation, and other sectors, the company began using 3D modeling in early 2000. That team of modelers has expanded to more than 250 employees who are immersed in BIM technology. And those modelers? They’re coming from gaming backgrounds.
Construction is one of the largest industries in the world economy, making up 13% of the world’s GDP. Yet, construction is widely recognized as much slower than other sectors in adopting new technology. And while many new technologies appear in the industry, including virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and robotics, there has been a reluctance to use these tools.
In a report from Dodge Analytics, August numbers for construction were looking very good. The bad news is on the horizon. Construction starts in September, wiped out all of the progress that had been made by the strong summer, dropping a whopping 18%. Non-residential starts fell 24% while residential dropped 21%. The remaining discrepancy is made up through public works and industrial, which remain strong.
Between 2020 and 2030, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that about 60 percent of new jobs in the economy will be in occupations that don’t typically require an associate’s, bachelor’s, or graduate degree.
As with nearly every city across America, skilled labor shortage is a significant problem. The Associated General Contractors of America shows that employment numbers have been down across the country. Boise, Idaho, is faring better, but they find that they’re facing one major problem when they recruit: the stigma of working in the construction industry.
The Expedited Delivery of Airport Infrastructure Act of 2020 has been deemed “uncontroversial” by political pundits. It seems to be sailing through committees with bipartisan support to get major construction projects underway for airport construction and expansion.
According to a new report in the New York Times Thursday, residential construction rose 2.1% from July to August, while non-residential—which was already suffering—dropped another 4%. The one exception to this is distribution centers, which continue to be on the way up.
A study from McKinsey reported that a large majority of projects miss their deadlines by 40% or more, which causes all sorts of headaches—most of them financial. Some of the most common reasons for construction mistakes are:
According to Dodge Data and Analytics, nonresidential construction starts fell by 19% in the first five months of the year. In places where lockdowns were mandated, including construction jobs, work levels dropped as much as 80%. The Dodge study indicated that the delays were due to labor shortage, new safety procedures, and lack of materials and equipment due to transportation disruptions.
Even though 20 million people are out of work, there remains a shortage of skilled labor in the construction industry. The demand for houses continues to grow despite the pandemic or perhaps because of it: interest rates are at historic lows, which are making homes in high demand.
Despite the many issues that are plaguing 2020, the Marcum Commercial Construction Index for the second quarter reports that the industry is maintaining a relatively even keel. In particular, unemployment in the construction industry has dropped back down to 8.9% after seeing record highs in April and March. The unemployment rate across all sectors is at 10.2%.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, an estimated 11.5 million women lost their jobs between February and May. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the worst-hit areas are hospitality, transportation, travel, entertainment, personal services (like daycare and hair salons) and retail. Those industries employ, on average, more women than men.
Back before there was wall-to-wall coverage of the Covid-19 epidemic, there were constant reports—even here on this blog—of the inability of contractors and construction companies to find skilled labor. One would think that since the major layoffs occurred in the spring of 2020, more of these positions would be easier to fill. But that is not the case, according to a workforce study from the Associated General Contractors of America and AutoDesk.
According to the most recent report from Dodge Data and Analytics, total construction starts for July fell 7%. This sharp drop was led primarily by a 31% dip in the non-building segment. (Nonbuilding consists of industrial, roads, public works, etc.) Nonresidential starts rose 3% and residential dropped 2%.