The winter of 2013 and 2014 may go on record as one of the coldest and snowiest, and there’s no doubt that the winter weather impacting construction has been most severe in the northern and northeastern states. Seasonal slowdowns are normal in this industry, but as demand builds and supplies diminish, the impact of the bitter cold and excessive snowfall will continue in these regions until spring.
Although the western and southwestern states experienced a dry and mild winter, the pressure in the industry will be widespread when construction picks back up. The demand for labor, materials and shipping will intensify over the upcoming season, according to ModSpace, a leading supplier of modular components and buildings. In an article posted in March 2014, a spokesperson stated that they expect the pressure to intensify to the point where some contractors will turn to modular construction as a way to manage tightening deadlines.
The number of unfilled jobs in the construction sector was the highest in 2013 than its been since May 2008, steadily rising in response to the improving economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). How the winter weather impacting construction will raise this statistic will be something to watch as the months go by.
However, the BLS data for unemployment in the construction industry reported an increase from January to February 2014, from 12.3 to 12.8 percent, although the sector added 15,000 jobs in February. The unemployment data aren’t seasonally adjusted, providing an accurate estimate of employment levels throughout the year.
The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America reported that construction spending rose 9.3 percent in January 2014, despite the polar vortex. Homebuilding and the multifamily sectors contributed to the gains in overall spending.
In spite of the winter weather impacting construction, most authorities in the industry believe that 2014 will be another good year for this sector. To learn more, contact Construction Monitor, the premiere source for detailed construction permitting activity with tools to help you broaden your business.
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