As we move into the second half of the year, I Build America – Kentucky is taking a moment to reflect on where the industry has been and where we’re heading for the remainder of 2021. Thankfully, this year already looks very different than 2020. And, experts like VERTEX say that it’s sure to stay that way throughout the rest of this year and beyond with support from a unified front. VERTEX recently shared their 2021 State of the Construction Industry report.
There’s great evidence of progress within our industry. The construction industry is on pace to earn $1.5 trillion in revenue, which is up 5% from last year’s first quarter. And, with President Biden’s new American Jobs Plan, we expect to see even more improvement as the year goes on.
What’s in the American Jobs Plan?
This $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan was officially released by President Biden at the end of March 2021. His package, which details spending that will be spread over the next eight years, directly affects the construction industry and includes:
- $213 billion for Affordable Sustainable Housing
- $115 billion for Roads and Bridges
- $111 billion for Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Systems
- $100 billion for High-Speed Broadband
- $100 billion for Power Grid Upgrades
- $100 billion for Workforce Development
- $42 billion for Ports and Airports
In addition, the American Jobs Plan includes spending plans to support in-home care, advanced manufacturing, research and development, electric charging stations, schools, childcare facilities, veteran’s hospitals, and other federal buildings. This public investment in infrastructure is expected to match levels that haven’t been seen since the 1960s.
On the other hand, there’s still a ways to go in rebuilding the US economy after its collapse last year. Who can forget how we all shifted to a more virtual world as we sheltered in place last year? There wasn’t one corner of the country that didn’t feel its effects, including the construction industry. This new way of living delayed on-the-job work, put a pause on countless projects, and intensified the construction industry’s labor shortage.
In order to recuperate after the unexpected year that was 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shared data that says that the construction industry will need to hire 430,000 more workers than they employed in 2020.
On the surface, this seems to be an overwhelming uphill battle for our industry to take on. But in reality, it’s an incredible opportunity for skilled laborers. According to that same analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors, every $1 billion spent within the industry will generate a minimum of 5,700 construction jobs. That’s a lot of opportunities.
There is a unique opportunity for individuals to join the construction industry coming off of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, with plenty of incentives to join an organization, including signing bonuses and competitive pay, there’s really no better time than now to try a new career or learn new skills.
Data shows that individuals are already taking advantage of this opportunity. But, we still have work to do. We need talented people to take our industry to the next level and get our country back on track.
We need people like you. Together, we can get through the challenges that this time of rebuilding will bring.
Will you be a part of the great 2021 rebuild?