The construction industry needs new blood; labor shortages exist everywhere, and methods of attracting new hires increase in complexity.
The construction industry needs new blood; labor shortages exist everywhere, and methods of attracting new hires increase in complexity.
Despite the rapidly growing population, the pandemic-driven boom in residential housing sales and the high demand for builders with large backlogs, construction in the Lone Star State looks dismal.
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. Both Doosan and Hyundai are South Korean companies. After the purchase, they will continue to operate independently.
Tech giant Apple intends to construct a new campus complex in San Jose that will cover 85 acres and include their north office. The building site contains a semi-permanent homeless encampment currently. Apple pledged to help the city deal with its homeless population.
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.
According to the most recent data from OSHA, construction continues its poor streak as the most dangerous industry in the United States, accounting for one in five workplace deaths. The top ten causes of workplace deaths contain three that are specific to construction: Ladders (#6), Scaffolding (#3), and Fall Protection (#1). Fatalities from construction falls have been in the number one place on the list for nine straight years. Additionally, construction fatalities increased by six percent in the last year.
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.
Colorado courts sentenced Bryan Johnson, a contractor from Avon, CO, to 10 months in prison. He faced manslaughter and negligent homicide charges after a workplace accident left a man dead in 2018. Johnson didn’t go to trial; he pled guilty to two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of 3rd-degree assault causing injury.
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.
Construction companies understand their industry’s tendency to adopt new tech at a snail’s pace; this makes construction a major target for new tech startups, but there’s a catch.
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.
The Manhattan Federal Court sentenced Vito Nigro, a New York construction executive, to 51 months in prison for evading taxes on more than $1.8 million in bribes he received from subcontractors.
Every week, it seems like a new construction technology claims to revolutionize the industry. But are these technologies right for you, and will they succeed as the claimed magic bullets that completely revamp your workflow? Here are five questions to ask:
After the death of seven construction workers so far this year in New York City, including three in May, the city’s Department of Buildings plans to crack down on safety violations.
Habitat for Humanity, the charity organization that builds homes for the disadvantaged, faces financial trials. The first blow came from the virus; safety precautions severely reduced the number of volunteers they could have onsite. The second came from the lack of revenue from closed ReStores, a chain of reuse stores Habitat for Humanity runs to partially fund their projects. The third blow came from supply chain issues—the same issues faced by all residential contractors.
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.
Contractors know about massive price jumps in materials. Still, a new report from the federal government shows that non-residential construction input prices rose 23.9% in May over May of 2020, and the prices rose 4.8% since April.
A preliminary report issued by the Norwegian company DNV and other international experts—prepared at the request of the Mexican government—found that at least six construction violations led to the collapse of the metro train last month that killed 26.
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.
Builders chatter about modular construction, particularly over the past few years. Even Warren Buffet entered the market with an ambitious venture into the technology. A new report projects modular construction to be worth $114 billion by 2028.
ABB, the Switzerland-based engineering group behind much of the world's automotive factories' robotic assembly lines, holds that the post-pandemic state of mass construction and labor shortage indicates a prime time to integrate robotics into the process.
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.
Danny Forster Architecture, a New York firm, has partnered with MiTek Inc, a company owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, to create the Modular Activation Platform (MAP); they intend to solve some of the main problems with modular construction.
Californians face the increasing severity of wildfires at the beginning of fire season. The Los Angeles City Council seeks to slow fires with a new proposal: City Building Code Fire District 1 Expansion. This initiative expands fire safety measures in dangerous neighborhoods, such as Silver Lake and Pacific Palisades. The proposal severely limits the use of wood framing in large buildings (over 150,000 square feet).
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.
While great economic times foster magnificent architecture—society builds few massive edifices during food shortages—two rising theories posit that booms in architecture could indicate a coming economic bust. More than that, one such theory blames architecture itself for the downturn.
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. Office vacancy rates in New York City reached 13.2% in March.
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.
According to new data released from the Federal Highway Association (FHWA), in 2019 (the year with the most recently compiled data), 842 fatalities occurred in work-zone crashes, compared to 757 in 2018, representing an 11.2% increase; this means the highest number of deaths in work zones since 2004.
Curri, a new company referred to as the “Uber of Construction,” gains investors as it seeks to disrupt a stagnant distribution model.
Nobody in the construction industry sees the material shortage as new news; lumber has climbed more than 300% since March of 2020. According to a survey from the Associated Building Contractors, lack of materials competes for top concern among contractors, alongside the labor shortage.
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.
On March 31, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that makes recreational marijuana legal in New York. Anyone over the age of 21 can possess up to 3 ounces of the drug. As far as construction crews, a simple solution seems obvious: make a rule that no one may work while impaired. But the problem's complexity requires a more involved solution.
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.
Los Angeles, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, faces a massive housing shortage. Many people live in wooden barracks. The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety plans to react to their crisis by launching the Accessory Dwelling Unit Standard Plan Program. Based on a 2017 statewide law, their directive enables the city to approve the construction of tens of thousands of “high-design, minimal dwellings” in-home backyards throughout the city.
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.
The $20 billion megaproject, One Central, in Chicago appears to be moving forward, following a dispute with Metra Electric, Chicago’s commuter rail system. Landmark Development, the developer of One Central, reached a tentative agreement this week to work “above, below, and around the tracks in the area without disrupting commuter operations.” Also, Landmark will spend $3.8 billion on a transit connection.
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.
Both Dodge Data and Analytics (Dodge) and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) released reports this week that predict 2021's construction industry positives and negatives.
With more companies and countries getting a toe-hold into space, it's only natural that a massive construction project intends to make big profits from future tourist space travel.
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.
New York lawmakers hope to reduce on-the-job construction industry injuries and deaths with a new bill. The New York State senate signed Bill S1302 into law on February 16th; this bill expands on a registry of information related to construction incidents that result in fatal injuries. The bill's language qualifies workers in the following groups: “direct employees, contracted employees, subcontracted employees, independent contractors, temporary or contingency workers, apprentices, interns, volunteers.” It also expands the term “contractor” to include direct employers, contractors, and subcontractors.
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%.
On February 12, exactly one year after the California-based company, Level 10 Construction, announced it had reached 6 million man-hours worked without a lost-time incident, they announced the next milestone: 7-million hours and seven straight years without a lost-time incident.
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.
Of the five boroughs of New York City, perhaps none is as infamous as Riker’s Island, a 413-acre island that houses one of the country’s largest prisons. The New York City Council has marked Riker’s Island as a target for tear down and renovation; most New Yorkers agree with this sentiment.
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.
In recent years, mining has seen a huge surge in success. 2020 represented a banner year for domestic mining (not just in ore but also in aggregates and quarries).
According to PRNewswire, a new report, “Construction in China – Key Trends and Opportunities to 2024” shows massive construction undertakings in the country in the first half of the decade. This occurs amid slowdowns in United States construction due to material shortages.
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. On the other hand, there are 312,000 more construction workers over 60 in that same period.
Following the Carbon Free Boston report in 2019, city officials are making carbon-neutral plans by 2050. Emissions from buildings account for more than 70% of the city’s emissions, Boston feels it’s time to clear the air.
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.
A massive construction project in Midtown Manhattan has advanced one stage closer in the approval process. The project would not only build two “supertall” skyscrapers; it would move Madison Square Garden and convert the former Garden into a spacious Penn Station.
As the year ends, futurists are making predictions about what is coming next for the world. One of the most significant speculation areas, and indeed one aspect that most futurists agree upon, is that population growth will drive more urbanization, and cities will have to deal with more and more people.
A new study published in MedRXiv reports that construction workers have the highest COVID-19 cases of nearly any industry, including healthcare workers, first responders, food service, correctional personnel, elderly care workers, and grocery store workers.
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.
Covid cases are reaching massive numbers and breaking records again for the first time since the spring’s initial surge. Construction companies are looking for ways to survive the potential drought of work that may occur if lockdowns continue—as seen in the tens of millions of people under stay-at-home orders in California last week.
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.
Climate change poses a threat that governments and city planners are starting to take seriously: according to a 2019 study, the global sea level could rise anywhere from two to seven feet by 2100. At today's population levels, that would displace more than 190 million people, a number that will only go up. "If our findings stand, coastal communities worldwide must prepare themselves for much more difficult futures than may be currently anticipated," the study warned.
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.
New artificial intelligence technologies at use in Europe can seamlessly track a project’s progress and see if it is falling behind schedule.
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.
According to a new study from Advisor Smith, several of the country's highest-paid jobs that don't require a degree are in the construction industry.
US industrial construction is having a good year, all things considered. A report from the consulting group of Cushman and Wakefield shows that the industrial market has produced a total of 159 million square feet in the last three consecutive quarters. The third quarter made 61 million alone, which is 16% higher than in the same quarter in 2019.
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.
On September 16th, two cranes at an Austin, TX, construction site collided. In the accident, 16 workers were injured and taken to local hospitals. None of the injuries are considered critical, but experts say that the incident highlights a significant lapse of workplace safety awareness.