AEM, AGC surveys offer insight on pandemic’s impact

By |  May 1, 2020

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) each shared survey results from member companies on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their operations.

AEM survey results

Association of Equipment ManufacturersAEM surveyed 105 member company executives on the pandemic’s impact on equipment manufacturers. The survey asked questions on topics such as the economy, their companies and financial expectations, the industry, supply chain and manufacturing operations, and other challenges faced.

Nine out of 10 survey respondents (91 percent) said the impact of coronavirus on the overall economy is very negative, and more than half (56 percent) of respondents said the impact on the industry is equally bad.

Furthermore, nine out of 10 respondents (91 percent) said a decline in demand for equipment is the primary factor impacting their business. With demand for equipment down, almost eight out of 10 respondents (79 percent) said they would like to see a significant investment in infrastructure to help keep equipment manufacturers in business.

In addition, 65 percent of respondents have experienced a moderately negative impact on their supply chain, while a quarter said the impact has been very negative.

According to AEM, just over half (54 percent) of companies that participated in the survey manufacture heavy equipment. Seventeen percent manufacture light equipment and a quarter of respondents make components and/or attachments.

Nearly 84 percent of participating companies identified construction as their primary segment, and 31 percent listed mining as their primary segment.

AGC survey results


Construction employment, meanwhile, declined in 99 of 358 metro areas from March 2019 to March of this year, according to an April 20-23 survey AGC conducted.

However, construction employment increased in 205 of the 358 metro areas, and it was flat in the remaining 54 metro areas.

The largest percentage decline in construction employment between March 2019 and March 2020 was in Laredo, Texas, which lost 19 percent (800 jobs) of construction jobs while Lake Charles, Louisiana, lost 18 percent (4,600 jobs) of construction jobs.

According to an AGC analysis, the decline is largely due to shutdown orders and project cancellations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Sixty-eight percent of construction firms reported that they have had projects canceled or delayed during the past two months.

“These new figures foreshadow even larger declines in construction employment throughout the country as the pandemic’s economic damage grows more severe,” says Ken Simonson, chief economist at AGC. “Unfortunately, the data for April and later months are sure to be much worse. In our latest survey, more than one-third of firms report they had furloughed or terminated workers – a direct result of growing cancellations.”

AGC recently called for new governmental measures to offset these employment declines.

For additional Pit & Quarry coverage related to the coronavirus, visit our dedicated webpage.

Zach Mentz

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