The Long-Term Economic Outlook for Construction

Robust Construction Forecast Demands Effective Project Planning

February 2020 – This new report, The Long-Term Economic Outlook for Construction, examines the long-run prospects for construction activity and employment in the skilled building trades during the years 2020-2030 for the United States and the Southeast. It concludes that current levels of activity, at least in real terms, are approaching a peak, to be followed by a modest decline associated with the completion of a few huge projects. Within a few years’ time, however, nonresidential construction measured in real dollars will modestly increase, lifting nonresidential construction and stabilizing jobs in the construction trades. Renewed industrial construction and federal funding for transportation and environmental public works could carry nonresidential

construction, measured both in dollars and by the number of skilled trade jobs, to new highs.

Despite skilled labor and other project challenges like productivity, construction growth is still expected to trend up over the long-term. However, the projected construction spending and headcount growth outlined in this report illustrates the realistic, yet conservative, future outlook – an enormous long-term skilled labor gap in the next 10 to 15 years based on current growth trends.

Implications of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act for Industrial Construction

Tax Code Changes Necessitate Careful Planning

March 2018 – Several decades have passed since the U.S tax code was revised. Since then, changes have been piecemeal – until now. The December 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act addresses long-standing provisions in the tax code believed to be unwise and inequitable; and most importantly, it was designed to encourage domestic business investment and support economic growth.

Yet there are uncertainties about how much debt it will add, whether it will spur investment and the appropriate timing for investment – “What will large industrial companies decide in light of changes to the tax code?” Timing is particularly important as the current U.S. expansion is among the longest in a century. Commodities demand and export prices are promising, though overbuilding is a tangible threat which must be monitored. Capacity utilization also appears supportive even though rates are low. But markets for industrial commodities can be quite tricky and the recent news of U.S.-imposed tariffs add an unexpected element, and the market’s response is yet unknown.

This new report is intended to help provide perspective and understanding for construction industry stakeholders wresting with the uncertainty of if and when capital project spending should occur in the near term.

Construction Productivity in an Imbalanced Labor Market

A Detailed Look at the Labor Shortage Impact On Projects

Craft labor shortages are a serious issue with a huge impact on project productivity. To gain a better understanding of productivity from their perspective, the Construction Labor Market Analyzer and the Construction Users Roundtable have collaborated in recent years to conduct surveys of construction owners, contractors and unions across the U.S.

Not only does this white paper examine productivity past and present, it also discusses the impact of labor risk on project outcomes; and concludes by offering owner recommendations for addressing labor risk in an imbalanced market and improving construction productivity. With such a clear correlation between productivity decline and the labor shortage, effective risk management, productivity tracking and workforce growth is vital to improving project outcomes and the construction industry overall.

Warning Signs Your Industrial Construction Project Is At Risk

How Owners Can Overcome Labor Risk Problems on a Project

Your career and the future of your company can depend on your ability to successfully and consistently deliver industrial construction projects safely, within budget and on time. The last thing you want is for your project to fall behind and face disruptions due to labor imbalances.

To help you with this, we’ve put together an eBook to help you recognize and avoid labor risk on your construction project. Our eBook also covers exactly how these different types of risks can become long-term problems within your project if left unchecked.

Guide to Helping Predict Construction Accidents

Accidents Are Avoidable

Too often, construction is dangerous and unfortunately, there are still too many construction accidents during projects.  It doesn’t have to be this way. On the continual journey to achieving an accident-free work site, leading indicators are an effective way to understand your safety risks and whether your construction project will likely experience more accidents than average.

Our guide can’t stop accidents from happening on your construction site, but it can help you identify accident risk factors and plan accordingly, preventing injuries and delays to keep your workers safe and your project on schedule.

2017 Hurricane Impact Report

Impact Assessment of 2017 Hurricanes on Gulf Coast Construction

This hurricane impact report addresses the impact of the 2017 hurricanes on the U.S. Gulf Coast construction industry. With major hurricanes coming ashore in the United States Gulf Coast region in August 2017, owners and contractors had to quickly determine what this would mean for their businesses and projects, because like other large hurricanes before, Hurricane Katrina (2005) left devastation and delays for weeks, even months after the storms initial landfall.

The Gulf Coast region has long been a hot bed for industrial, chemical and heavy manufacturing activity. Because of our extensive work in the region helping owners and labor providers understand craft labor risk for the non-residential construction market; we felt it was important to help provide some perspective for the industry in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In the wake of these hurricanes, we surveyed owners and contractors throughout September 2017 for their perspective of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on their company and workforce, and the broader economy.

The results were received, tabulated and expanded on within this report; and while Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have been compared to Hurricane Katrina; it appears this time the industrial construction industry was better prepared, and the damages more modest.