Construction survey reports high revenue, employment in 2017

By |  June 15, 2017

Commercial construction is in high demand across the United States, and contractors are confident of the trajectory of the industry, according to the USG Corp. and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index.

About 96 percent of contractors surveyed expect revenues to grow or remain stable this year compared to 2016, according to the index. Only 3 percent of people surveyed expect a decrease in revenue, while 40 percent expect an increase.

USG and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched the index to serve as a quarterly economic indicator to gauge what drives the commercial construction industry and its leaders, including specific issues like backlog of work, new business pipeline, revenue projections, workforce issues and access to financing. Dodge Data & Analytics, a provider of insights and data for the construction industry, helped to develop the research, according to USG.

“This first-of-its-kind index was born out of a need to understand the issues that affect commercial construction,” says Jennifer Scanlon, president and CEO of USG. “The index will deliver critical insights into the future health of the industry. Through the index we are able to identify areas of strength and pinpoint areas of improvement where industry leaders must focus.”

Two-thirds of contractors reported they expect to employ more workers in the next six months, indicating growth in a sector that employs about 3 million Americans, USG says. However, 61 percent of the index respondents also reported difficulty in finding skilled workers. The contractors reported the biggest shortages in concrete, interior finishes, millwork, masonry, electrical and plumbing trades.

“The commercial construction industry is a vital engine for the American economy,” says Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The projected growth uncovered in this research is good news for employers and workers, but there is reason for concern in the lack of qualified talent available in vital specialties. To get our economy growing to its full potential, we must ensure that we have a workforce that is ready to fill the available jobs.”

The report also looks at the results of backlog levels, new business opportunities and revenue forecasts to generate a composite index on a scale of 0-100 that serves as an indicator for the health of the contractor segment, USG adds. The second quarter of 2017 received a composite index score of 76, which is up by two points from the first quarter of 2017.

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