Perhaps more than any other American industry, construction relies heavily on the nation’s economy. In a strong economy, unemployment numbers drop and with stable incomes consumer confidence and spending increase. With consumer spending increasing, the economic business outlook for growth is optimistic prompting businesses to expand and build. Although on a roller coaster of ups and downs since 2000, experts are forecasting that the construction industry is on the rise.
Construction Industry in a New Century
Here’s a brief history of construction employment over the last 15 years, which reflects the growth and contraction of the industry as a whole.
2000 to 2006 : height of the housing bubble: 900,000 construction jobs added
2007 to 2010 : The Great Recession : 2.1 million construction jobs lost
2010 to 2014 : recovery from the Great Recession : 500,000 construction jobs added
through 2022: Bureau of Labor Statistics predictions : 1.6 million construction jobs added
Construction Spending by Industry
Economists for Associated Builders and Contractors forecast that nonresidential construction spending will grow by 7.4% across all industries in 2016. Further forecasting put the increase in nonresidential construction spending at 27% by 2022. Broken down by industry, the highest growth in construction spending is anticipated for manufacturing, lodging, and commercial offices. Here’s the complete picture and farm equipment auction tips:
Manufacturing – 14.9%
Lodging – 11.4%
Office – 8.1%
HealthCare – 8.0%
Education – 6.9%
Power – 6.1%
Many experts suggest that increased spending for manufacturing construction is based on the need for more warehouse space. The rise of e-commerce sales has created the need for manufacturers to build more distribution centers strategically based across the country.
Construction Trends to Watch For
As the construction industry continues to rebound, there are several trends that will emerge.
More Off-Site Construction
In 2014, the total value of new permanent modular construction in the U.S. was $3.8 billion, which equated to close to 3% of total construction projects. According to the Modular Building Institute 2015 Annual Report, the industry goal is to reach 5% of the commercial construction market share by 2022.
Experts in the modular industry are working to educate contractors, developers, and architects on the reality of modular construction and dispel the long-standing myths. They are hopeful that industry professionals will embrace the option of off-site modular building as a way to complete jobs greener, faster, and smarter.
Design – Build Teams
The goals of cost-savings and project streamlining have led many companies to utilize a design-build approach for their construction projects. Design-build allows construction providers to be a one-stop shop for their clients, offering all the resources necessary to advance their project through design, engineering, and building with just one point of contact. Design-build projects generally result in a more cost-effective process with fewer delays.
Construction sites are starting to look drastically different. Where hammers, nails, and saws once got the job done, we now see 3-D mapping, digital models, and even drones on the job site. As of now, these are the best drones for sale which are being used extensively at construction sites to get clear images of the development of the project. Additionally, project managers and supervisors now hold in their pocket access to endless construction industry tools through mobile apps. While on site they can check material inventories, call up blueprints, track productivity, or even turn their phone into a leveling tool.
Even though construction spending and hiring are anticipated to rise over the next several years, there is always a greater need for skilled labor than can be filled. The labor crunch causes delays, project backlogs, and rising prices. The shortage began when many construction workers sought new employment opportunities after being dismissed during the recession coupled with fewer young workers entering the field.
A Closing Gender Gap
While female employees in the construction industry only represent 9% of the total construction workforce, that still represents over 800,000 females. Through the efforts of programs like Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) training programs and apprenticeships are available for women as roofers, carpenters, electricians, and other construction professions. There has also been a large initiatives nation wide to encourage children to be active in STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). By making changes at early development levels, there has already has been recognition in the amount of females in the construction industry.
If your business is planning for business growth, learn more about modular construction and how you can build more cost-effectively and take occupancy even sooner.
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