The pandemic has had far-reaching consequences on the US construction industry, not only on volumes but also types of construction, introducing a slew of unprecedented challenges. The Associated General Contractors of America’s latest annual hiring and business outlook survey, an indicator of contractor sentiment, revealed different levels of optimism and shifts in project categories, as COVID-19 changes the land of the free, rendering some construction activities promising and others not.
Associated General Contractors of America
The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively put the brakes on a number of promising economic trends, including that of the US construction industry, which had been thriving before the country switched into lockdown mode in March. Although construction was slower to feel the crisis’s punch than some sectors, as contractors now look ahead toward recovery, the projections are uncertain, with the return to “normal” possibly measured more in years than months.
The construction industry in the United States does a lot more than build buildings. It undergirds the prosperity of the country’s economy as a whole in multiple ways. How are contractors, the industry’s key players, feeling these days? Overall, they are optimistic, as survey results show—and economic data supports their buoyancy—but not without reservations about future uncertainties, especially in three main areas: trade, labor and interest rates.
During his election campaign, US President Donald Trump promised to be a human boon to the US construction industry, one of the nation’s most vital and influential. As the days have ticked away since his inauguration, have the new administration’s policies made a difference for the industry, or added to its uncertainty about what the future really holds?