The construction industry is booming and experts expect growth to continue well into 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and a report from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC), project the construction industry to be one of the fastest growing industries, with a 4.5% projected growth rate over the next 5 years, making construction staffing the leading industry in wage and employment growth.
Although the industry is on the rise, there is currently a skilled labor shortage for construction positions industry due to the recession, however, with increased work, the construction industry will have a higher employment rate than the overall economy.
According to Construction Labor Contractors, professionals predict the construction industry will have one of the largest increases in real output, reaching almost $1.2 trillion by 2020.The renewable energy sector will also be booming over the next few years. The government plans to make renewable energy 20% of the country’s total energy mix by 2020, and with continued climate change issues, federal and state governments are pushing for renewable energy sources. This translates into big business for construction companies.
By 2020, The U.S. population is expected to grow from 321.2 billion to 338 billion, which means the rise of people results in a rise of residential housing, and will escalate residential construction to the top of the growing markets’ list. The government plans to raise the budget by 1.9% to support home ownership, sustainable community and housing developments. This also provides access to affordable housing for homeless and vulnerable families.
Commercial construction will also continue to grow. With more consumer spending and governmental investments in tourism, office buildings and retail space, commercial construction businesses will reap the rewards.
For 2018, the construction sector is already booming, but there just aren’t enough qualified workers. A new report released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), found that 75% of contractors want to increase their headcount in 2018, however, 50% of companies reported having a difficult time filling both craft and salaried worker positions. Plus, 53% of companies told the AGC that they expect to continue struggling to find qualified applicants. These challenges come despite the fact that 60% of firms reported increasing base pay to retain or recruit professionals and 36% provided incentives and bonuses toward the same end.
“The general population doesn’t know how rewarding and profitable construction jobs can be,” said Stephen Mulva, director of the Construction Industry Institute. “Six-figure salaries are not uncommon.”
Even with an abundance of good paying available jobs, the labor shortage is still pronounced
and doesn’t attract the younger workers like other professions do, prompting the industry to change public perceptions to show that through construction, families can earn a robust middle-class living. Another challenge is the nature of construction jobs, which often require regular travel, which can be a real deterrent to people getting into it
This could change in the near future. The construction sector will be undergoing a “revolution” in order to overcome industry-wide challenges, including the labor shortage, and one of the changes could involve shifting more work into a fabrication yard, which means sections of the project would be built in one location and then shipped to the final destination. This would eliminate the traveling requirement for some workers.
The construction industry is already experiencing an influx of cash, with spending rising to an all-time high of $1.257 trillion at the end of 2017, according to the Commerce Department. The U.S. Department of Labor released the employment report for December, which showed the economy added 30,000 construction jobs last month, contributing to a total of 148,000 overall jobs created.
Meanwhile, the construction industry is still potentially facing a 1.5 million worker shortage by the year 2020.