6 Construction Statistics to Consider in 2020

Construction Statistics Cover 2020

Looking for updated construction statistics?

The first quarter of 2020 is officially over and with its departure; we are privy to some statistics that every construction contractor needs to know. Staying abreast of the latest developments, trends, and helpful statistics is what we do here at Contractors’ Society of America. And we are excited to bring you this list of crucial construction statistics in 2020. 

The first quarter of 2020 was a doozy and it is certain to go down as one of the pivotal periods of the modern era. It has been very challenging for construction contracting businesses and has surely forced many of them to change the way they operate and fill open positions. 

But to help you make some sense of it all and keep you ahead of the curve we have curated some of the most relevant statistics for construction contractors. The entries on our list will cover a cross-section of topics that pertain to construction projects, staffing, and the state of the market. Also, please be aware that our list will feature entries from before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find lots more helpful content on our blog page which features articles geared towards keeping today’s contractors informed and their businesses competitive. 

1) Staffing 

The first important construction statistic that we have to discuss comes to us from Construction Dive. The Associated General Contractors of America recently conducted a survey of 2,500 contractors regarding their staffing prospects. 80% of the contractors who responded reported that they are finding it difficult to staff hourly positions in their crews while 56% of them cannot find enough candidates for salaried positions. This statistic is alarming because it points to a general shift away from interest in the construction trade. In order to compensate, savvy contractors have invested in in-house training. This allows them to take unskilled candidates and turn them into craft-workers. Other contractors have simply provided more hours to their existing crews as needed.

2) Women on the Job Site 

Our second statistic comes courtesy of the National Association of Women in Construction.  They inform us that only 9.9% of the construction workforce is made up of women. Construction has always been a predominantly male trade. But with so many other industries equalizing in terms of gender ratio, why is construction lagging behind so much? One reason is that construction work environments have not typically been welcoming to women. But this stat sort of goes hand-in-hand with our previous one. In order to salve the staffing crisis that the industry is now facing, contractors should make it a point to attract women into the trade. Making your company more inviting to women could open up a whole new market of skilled workers that can help compensate for the apparent lack of construction interest.

3) Single-Family Residential Construction is Still Profitable 

After our last recession was over, one of the industries that experienced an immediate boom was single-family home construction. This is evidenced by FMI’s figure that estimated the single-family construction branch of the industry was worth $282 billion dollars in 2018 – the era right after the recession. It is unclear what impact the COVID-19 impact will have on our economy but most experts predict another recession. But that $282 billion figure represented a 4% increase in the previous year – the era right before the recession. So no matter what comes of all this, it is likely that when the dust settles and the smoke clears, developers and investors will need a slew of single-family residences built. 

4) Construction and Technology 

Technology represents another arena in which the construction industry has underperformed. In a study conducted by Autodesk, we can see that only 18% of construction firms utilize modern technology like mobile apps to help manage their projects. In an era where so many things are uncertain, you would think that contractors would be looking to gain any edge they possibly could. And some have. Numerous surveyed contractors stated that they use cloud storage technology to assist with their administrative duties. But this is another way that contractors could be streamlining work, getting projects done faster, and helping more clients that many of them seem reluctant to adopt. 

5) Off-Site Construction Acceptance is Slow 

Prefab and modularization have changed the game for a lot of contractors. With these modern methods and products, they are able to get jobs done faster, easier, with leaner crews and at lower costs. But the interest in this type of construction seems one-sided. In an FMI study, it is apparent that owner organizations are reluctant to accept projects done in the modern off-site style. We read that only 38% of hiring owner organizations are highly accepting of off-site construction methods and a whopping 50% of them still prefer the traditional method of designing, bidding, and then construction. The issue is that many organizations are simply unaware of the advantages of this relatively modern approach. But no matter what the cause may be, it is obvious that owner organizations still want things done the old-fashioned way in 2020.

6) The First 5 Years

The first five years of construction are the most crucial. As we read in this Fundera article, only 65% of new construction businesses make it past their second year. And only a dismal 35% make it through their 5th year. Getting started as a construction contractor can be extremely hard. It can be hard to find ways to get work when you just start out but if you do make it past 5 years, statistically, you have a great shot at sustained success.

Final Words

We hope you have found our list of construction statistics insightful. It is important to leverage construction statistics like these in order to traverse these uncertain times. Staying in the know now can make all the difference in the future. Use these construction statistics as a guide to understanding current trends for the sake of future success.