Published in Construction Financial Management Association's May/June issue of Building Profits magazine.
With more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, construction companies are looking beyond the resiliency that saw them through the worst months of 2020 and incorporating strategies to build on the recent mixed economic signals.
Yes, construction employment is still down; the industry's unemployment rate in January 2021 was 9.4% compared to 5.4% in January 2020. On the other hand, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America noted that residential building and specialty trade contractors had recouped all of their early 2020 employment losses by January 2021.
Nonresidential construction employment still lagged at 5.5% lower in January 2021 than in February 2020. Only 60% of the job losses in nonresidential construction in 2020 had been erased by the beginning of the year. Still, although backlogs were down 0.9 months from January 2020 to January 2021, they inched up at the beginning of 2021 to 7.5 months, according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).
Companies that paid attention to their key relationships when COVID-19 cases were rising, jobsites were closing down, and backlogs were dwindling should continue nurturing these crucial connections but with a focus on growth.