As 2015 comes to a close, we thought we’d give you some of the year’s numbers, as well as our take on the strongest construction industry trends of 2015.
Slow but steady construction industry growth
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), construction industry employment has climbed across the USA with a 4% increase from October 2014 to October 2015. This increase isn’t as strong as the 2013 to 2014 figures (5 % increase), and this slowing in growth could be because of another construction industry trend observed in 2015: the increasing lack of skilled workers. Still, growth is expected to continue into 2016 and beyond.
Demand for skilled workers outstripping supply
Demand for skilled workers seems to be strongly outstripping supply. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC of Amercia) reported in September 2015 that “An overwhelming majority of construction firms report trouble finding qualified craft workers to fill key spots as demand for construction continues to rebound”.
Fully 86% of construction firms reported having trouble filling salaried and/or hourly positions. The most in-demand trades? Carpenters, concrete workers and electricians.
With the influx of new people that will need to come into the industry, we believe contractors will need to turn to technologically advanced and user-friendly materials for their jobs to help attract qualified workers.
A rise in mergers and acquisitions
Construction company Mergers and acquisitions were a strong construction industry trend in 2015, just as they had been in 2014. This was driven by companies’ need to create economies of scale and to cut operational costs, while making them more attractive to shareholders, according to the Wall Street Journal.
We think 2016 might be the year when the smaller construction firms will feel the backlash of competing with these new giant companies, and their ability to offer more competitive pricing. Finding high quality, low cost materials will be key to their survival and prosperity.
Continued growth in green building market share
Green building market share in the construction industry is growing. According to a McGraw-Hill study, 35% of architects, engineers and contractors have green building jobs today. That percentage is expected to steadily climb to 45% over the next 3 years. Green buildings will continue to be more and more attractive to home buyers. Because of that, we think it will continue to be beneficial for builders to seek out environmentally friendly construction materials to attract customers.
Finally, based on our in-house numbers we’d like to make a prediction on the overall construction industry: In accordance with the prediction for modest growth cited that the beginning of this post, we predict that the construction industry will see 1,250,000 new construction sites in 2016.
That said, we certainly look forward to working with you in the New Year!