Two interesting articles came to our attention this week.
New data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index shows U.S. contractors are growing more optimistic as revenue expectations increase. (Source: https://www.nrca.net/RoofingNews/contractors-are-more-optimistic-expect-revenue-to-rise.3-24-2021.9429/Details/Story)
Before COVID-19 hit in early 2020 the confidence levels of building contractors of all disciplines, including roofing contractors, was high. As 2020 unfolded their confidence level dropped initially but started to recover in the 3rd and 4th quarters. The 1st quarter of 2021 shows that upward trend continuing:
During the first quarter of 2021, 36% of contractors said they expect their revenue to increase during the next year compared with 11% from the last quarter of 2020. Eighty-seven percent expect their revenue to remain the same or increase compared with 86% last quarter. Additionally, 86% of contractors reported a moderate to high level of confidence the U.S. market will provide enough new business during the next year.
Also encouraging is that employment within the contracting world is likely to increase in 2021:
Forty-six percent of contractors said they will employ more people during the next six months compared with 37% from the previous quarter. Additionally, 46% expect to keep the same number of workers, and only 3% expect to reduce their staffing—down from 12% in the last quarter of 2020.
This leads into the 2nd article that we read:
A recent analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by the Associated Builders and Contractors shows construction companies will need to hire 430,000 more workers in 2021 than they employed in 2020. (Source: https://www.nrca.net/RoofingNews/construction-industry-must-hire-430000-more-workers-to-meet-demand.3-25-2021.9437/Details/Story)
In order to keep up with the demand from last years enforced slowdown the contracting industries no find themselves in a situation where they need to play catch-up and that means hiring a lot of people. It stands to reason that the confidence reported above relies a lot on being able to recruit employees in sufficient numbers. If contractors can attract the talent then the future looks very bright:
“According to forecasts analyzed during the COVID-19 pandemic, an impressive 430,000 more construction workers still need to be hired in 2021 to meet the demand, evidence that the construction industry is powering America’s recovery and economic engine,” said ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman.