What Is the Post-Pandemic Future of Construction?

Although the pandemic seems poised for another surge, it’s a good idea to start thinking about the future of construction after it ends. COVID-19 has taken its toll on the construction industry, but there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the future. Here are a few things to think about, if you are considering a career in construction.

Surging Demand
Back in 2019, experts were predicting that the unprecedented demand for construction would level off or even decrease in 2020. Of course, what happened was far beyond what anybody could have imagined. Construction abruptly crashed to a halt in many regions of the world, only to re-emerge with almost panic levels of demand. The U.S. is likely to see that demand continuing years into the future. After all, California’s housing shortage didn’t get any better in the interim. Businesses are changing the ways that they occupy retail and commercial spaces, but they’re still going to need them.

Worker Shortage
If a worker shortage in construction feels like old news, that might be because it continues to be a problem. Experts estimate that the industry as a whole will need nearly 500,000 more workers than the country had in 2020. However, if demand continues to rise, that number might be more than 1 million. This kind of labor shortage hasn’t been seen since the rebound after the housing crisis in 2012. Construction businesses that want to survive are going to have to entice workers with the right skills to work for them. Certain fields are in more demand than others.

Price Increases
Remember lower gas prices from a year ago? Those days are gone. An increase in demand has made the prices for many supplies and other consumables important to construction go way up. You may have been tracking the rise and fall of lumber prices as they related to shutdowns in production, but you should know that price concerns are an issue on a much larger scale:

Contracting businesses that want to build a better future may need to accommodate higher prices and a greater amount of fluctuation, in order to secure contracts and be able to complete them according to specifications.

Supply Chain Updates
For decades, manufacturers were building factories overseas as a way to cut costs on labor and minimize their tax liability. All that came to a head when overseas shipping was severely curtailed due to the pandemic. As a result, many companies realized that they need to have at least part of the supply chain in the U.S., so that they can get materials more quickly and efficiently. That may sound more convenient, and it is. But you can also anticipate that it will be more expensive, which can increase costs overall.

Why You Should Start Now
If you look at the complete picture for the construction industry, it may seem like a fairly mixed bag. But if you’re thinking about starting a career in construction, you’ve got an excellent opportunity right now. Companies are hungry for workers who are interested in building a career in construction. They’re more likely to offer enticements in the form of training, higher pay and benefits to people who are willing to apply. Within a few years, many of the obstacles created by the pandemic should be managed. And if you start now, you might be in a much better place to build a business that can last decades.

The future of the construction industry is busy. Are you ready to join it? Visit CSLS today to learn more benefits of building your contracting career.