Published in National Insulation Association’s July 2020 issue of Insulation Outlook magazine.
Authored by Laura Cataldo
When the first article in this series was submitted for publication, the economy was humming along and workforce shortages were a top concern for most contractors. Fast forward a few months and the coronavirus is front page and the workforce discussion has shifted to, “How do we protect our employees from mass layoffs, keep them safe from the virus, and survive as a business?”
In many states, construction is defined as an essential activity. Construction employees are able to work, support their families, and contribute to their communities. Despite the fact that 40% of contractors have experienced project delays related to COVID-19, we should consider ourselves lucky to be able to work.
Many construction industry economists predict that the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic will be very significant to the private sector because select industries are essentially shut down (manufacturing, retail, and hospitality among them). ITR CEO Brian Beaulieu recommends that businesses “keep calm and carry on because the U.S. economy is strong and we will get to the other side of this.” Anirban Basu of Sage Policy Group predicts that “when recovery commences, it will be sharp, profound, and most welcome.” He cites low interest rates, pent-up demand, and the need to rebuild inventories and reengage with human activities as the primary reasons why the recovery will be swift.