The construction market gained plenty of momentum in 2017, and even recorded a 10 year high in employment numbers. It’s already predicted to continue growing in 2018, with a majority of Associated General Contractors (AGC) members planning to increase their respective headcount. Seventy-five percent of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls in 2018. Several market segments are expected to continue growing in 2018, ranging from Wastewater Construction and Healthcare Construction to Multifamily Construction and even Higher Education Construction.
“Construction firms appear to be very optimistic about 2018 as they expect demand for all types of construction services to continue to expand,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “This optimism is likely based on current economic conditions, an increasingly business-friendly regulatory environment and expectations the Trump administration will boost infrastructure investments.”
Construction Industry Growth in 2018
Many of the statistics documented in the AGC survey titled “Expecting Growth to Continue: The 2018 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook” were very optimistic concerning construction employment expansion in 2018.
- The net positive reading for all types of construction is 44%, which is the highest reading since the association started the Outlook survey series in 2009.
- A 22% net positive reading from contractors in the private office market segment.
- Other segments and their net positive readings include other transportation (all modes other than highway), retail, warehouse and lodging, each at 21%.
- Water and sewer construction had a 20% net positive reading; K-12 was at 18%.
- Highway and hospitality each yielded a 17% reading.
Labor Shortage Challenge
Yet, a growing number of firms remain concerned about the lingering skilled labor shortage. In fact, 82 percent of firms expect it will either become even more challenging, or remain difficult to recruit and hire qualified workers in 2018. In an effort to attract and retain more workers, a majority of firms have increased base construction salaries. Some other helpful strategies being used to recruit workers include providing incentives and bonuses, increasing contributions to employee benefit programs and increasing investments in employee training and development.
Rewards of Working in Construction
The construction industry has some of the most challenging and rewarding careers in the labor market offering workers a variety of positive benefits. Those working in construction jobs are quick to point out the sense of satisfaction they receive knowing that they made a mark on the landscape while making a difference in people’s everyday lives. Additionally, the teamwork and camaraderie is second-to-none in this industry. There are a variety of niches that you can work in including: Senior Living Construction, Assisted Living Construction and Institutional Construction. Finally, construction salaries are higher than many other industries. Construction salaries have risen 3 percent since 2015. Many industry experts are expecting construction salaries to continue rising into the new year due to a lingering skilled labor shortage and a growing demand for private-sector building projects.
This is optimistic news for the construction the industry which has seen it share of challenges in the recent past. With Seventy-five percent of construction firms planning to expand their teams in 2018, and numerous market segments expected to grow in in the coming year, now is a great time to be in construction.
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The Birmingham Group is a tenured construction recruiting firm dedicated to helping you build your dream team. If you are ready to take a proactive approach to recruiting and retention, reach out today to discuss a custom recruitment strategy.