Construction Industry Remains Union-Strong

construction industry

The February 2020 unemployment rate was low: 3.5%. But by December, it was 6.7%. In tough economic times, most of us will take work when and where we can get it.

Less pay for more work thrives during chaos. Despite the pandemic layoffs, 2020 union membership remained strong in the construction industry.

Construction Industry Unions Thrive Despite Pandemic

Construction industry union membership percentages dipped in 2019 but actually increased in 2020 to 12.7%. In 2019, nonunion wages for construction industry workers were 29% less than union members’ wages.

However, union wages decreased from $1,240/week in 2019 to $1,234/week in 2020. Nonunion members’ salaries went up, from $868/week to $920/week.

The Economic Policy Institute says the 2020 pandemic emphasized what unions have been trying to change for decades: U.S. labor law fails to protect working people. 

In spite of their critical role in providing necessary services, these (construction industry) workers have been working
without access to fundamental protections like personal
protective equipment or paid sick leave.

Few take campaign promises seriously, but we can always hope. If the Biden presidency follows-through, the Build Back Better energy plan will add more union jobs this year.

Construction Monitor Increases Work Opportunities for Businesses Like Yours

You’d be surprised at the number of “unofficial” construction industry companies that use building permit data to make marketing decisions. A food truck owner can learn where job sites will be located in the spring and summer by studying building permit applications this week.

One savvy light fixtures salesperson looks for bathroom and kitchen remodeling permits. “If you’re getting a plumbing overhaul, replacing old lighting with modern, ‘smart’ adds an affordable feel-good factor to a renovation expense,” she says.

Construction industry companies use our data analytics to chase leads and build business. Learn more about how we can customize the information you need. Email, call 800-925-6085, or contact Construction Monitor.

Construction Safety Checklist

construction safety checklist

The American National Standards Institute and the American Society of Safety Professionals (ANSI/ASSP) revised the A10 Construction and Demolition Operations standards in addition to Fall Protection and Restraint (Z359) guidelines. We should follow their construction safety protocols.

The 2020 construction safety standards revisions were chaired by Richard Hislop. “This is more than putting a cover over a hole or placing a barricade around a hazard. This is about creating a process to manage safety.”

Basic Checklist for Construction Safety

Construction safety policies’ importance can’t be over-emphasized. Construction safety should be owned by everyone in the industry and on the job.

To download the complete form, go to Get the Checklist. Some of its project construction safety tips include:

  1. Appoint a safety/health supervisor.
  2. Develop a health/safety plan and communicate it to employees.
  3. Ensure employees are trained/aware of hazards/controls, safety/health rules required by the project-specific safety and health plan.
  4. Ensure compliance with ANSI/ASSP A10.33-2020; hazardous conditions are promptly abated.
  5. Provide employees with personal protective equipment. Ensure they are trained in its use.
  6. Train employees to safely operate machinery, tools, vehicles, and equipment.
  7. Notify workers they must be fit for duty/free from impairment from medications, illegal substances/alcohol. Assess fitness for duty before each shift.
  8. Recommend appropriate discipline if employees violate safety/health rules and provide recognition for employees who achieve safety and health goals and demonstrate valuable health and safety behaviors.
  9. Conduct/manage daily safety/health inspections. Document/correct hazardous conditions.
  10. Inspect machinery/tools, vehicles/equipment before use at the beginning of each shift to ensure they are free from hazards.
  11. Ensure workers report injuries and have access to first aid supplies.
  12. Document all work-related injuries/illnesses/near misses. Investigate/implement preventive construction safety measures.
  13. Train workers in the emergency action plan (evacuation, etc.)
  14. Stop work if imminent danger is present.
  15. Ensure employees have access to water/bathrooms.

Construction Monitor Increases Profits With Building Permit Data

You’re already managing pandemic protocols to keep workers safe. Hopefully, that’s a temporary process. But our industry’s drive to promote project safety will continue forever.

Make this the year you build your reputation for construction safety; you’ll become the company talented recruits want to join.

Construction Monitor helps companies like yours build business. And we genuinely care about your marketing outcomes. Let us know how building permits have increased your profits. And if you don’t know how to use building permit data, ask us.

Construction Industry Trends and Tools

construction  industry trends

Construction-specific tools are taking over,” says construction content writer Anastasios Koutsogiannis. And he’s talking about data analytics, digital solutions, and software. Construction industry trends for better project management will be taking us cloud-high this year.

One Project, One Data Source

Project managers say they spend 40% of their time in meetings, on phone calls, or writing after-the-fact reports. A single data source consolidates everything and reduces your miscommunication margin of error substantially.

If you think in spreadsheet-speak, think of a centralized data source as one spreadsheet with lots of tabs. Centralized project communications – all the project information from every source – will save time and money like never before.

Integrated planning will gather all the sources of data – your team’s different project management software outputs – and pull them into one, manageable place. It’s not easy at first, but it’s absolutely key to better project management.

Safety, Quality Focus

The new administration asked OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) “to determine whether to establish an emergency temporary standard to keep workers safe from COVID-19.” President Biden is also requesting OSHA to target and penalize worksites that do not adhere to safety protocols in 2021.

In 2020, the Labor Department/OSHA issued $3,930,381 in coronavirus violations; failure to comply:

Look for ways to link the quality of work and safety directly to phase one project planning. It minimizes waste, delays, and improves overall quality.

We’ve Got Information You Need on a Need-To-Know-Basis

You can make informed decisions when you get the right information. Construction Monitor is the nation’s leading source for construction industry trends.

Our information can drive your marketing this year and beyond:

Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact us today to learn more about using business permit data to increase business opportunities.

Insurance for Small Construction Business Contractors

small construction business contractors

Large, global construction firms have attorneys on retainer, but they also have the best insurance coverage possible. If you’re a small contractor or subcontractor company, one liability lawsuit can throw your construction business under the bus.

6 Things You Should Know About Construction Business Insurance

You don’t want to pay more for insurance than you have to. What you want is to be able to insurance-shop and gain a knowledgeable perspective. Even if your best friend is an insurance professional, “shop around,” says biBERK chief operating officer Rakesh Gupta.

1. Bundle

You can save more money if you can bundle insurance policies. This is also more convenient because you have a one-stop-shop for your construction business insurance.

2. Check Subcontractors’ Insurance

File proof of subcontractor insurance before they start the job.

3. Commercial Auto Insurance

Your cousin needs a job, but she’s had several fender-benders. Your construction business pays more for bad drivers. Good drivers make good employees for many reasons, not the least of which is you’ll pay lower auto insurance.

4. Pay Higher Deductibles

The higher your deductibles, the lower your premiums. But always have your deductible amount set aside for that rainy day when a claim is filed. Gupta says choosing a higher deductible and “hoping for the best” can have serious financial consequences for your construction business.

5. Promote Safety

X-MOD is used to calculate your insurance rates. Make safety a priority in the workplace. Promote injury-free days. Actively setting and promoting safety standards can give you a better X-MOD (experience modification) ratio.

6. Workers’ Comp

How this insurance is priced is based on classification codes. The classification codes tell insurance companies the risk level for that worker. You don’t need office workers in the same classification as an onsite employee. However, that frequently occurs, and when it does, a construction business pays more for insurance than necessary.

Use Available Information To Better-Manage Your Business

Finally, make a point to review your insurance coverage annually. You’ve bought more equipment, hired more, laid off more. Construction business changes are a fact of life. You may need to reduce or increase your coverage, but you won’t know if you don’t look.

Many things have happened within the construction business industry that were beyond your control. But you can control your insurance costs if you’re involved. It’s worth your time.

You also have complete control of business development and marketing plans. Construction Monitor data analyses are worth your time, too. Contact us for more information.

Laser Technology in the Construction Industry

laser technology in construction

“Laser” was an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” The first laser was built in 1960, so it’s not exactly new technology. But 3D laser scanning is just now trending in the construction industry. And the market is expected to grow to $10 billion by 2024.

A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of
electromagnetic radiation.

How Laser Scanning Is Used in the Construction Industry

Here are ways laser scanning can be used in a project lifecycle:

  1. Design – Laser scanning is used for BIM (building information modeling).
  2. Build – Onsite laser scanning can spot discrepancies and conflicts between electrical, plumbing, or HVAC systems. Its information can be shared remotely and used to:
    • Document errors
    • Hand-off work
    • Reduce change orders
  3. As-built – Laser scanning details can create permanent records for operations, retrofits, and later renovations.

Laser Benefits for the Construction Industry

Laser technology can reduce project costs, but the initial investment is prohibitive to most small-business contractors and sub-contractors. Training employees is another investment that should be added to the upfront expense.

If you can rent the equipment or service, that’s a great way to learn the benefits of its application. For those that can afford the investment, the advantages are real:

  • Creates more detailed workflows
  • Improves project coordination/collaboration/communications
  • Improves the quality of work
  • Increases accuracy/reduces errors
  • Information is real-time
  • Reduces manual labor
  • Saves money (as much as 50%)
  • Saves time

Construction Data Analytics for Your Business

Construction Monitor shares what we learn about the construction industry. We’ve been around long enough to be amazed at the rapid technological advances within our industry. Our team likes to believe we’re part of the change.

If your business is dependent on growth and works for or with construction industry organizations, our data is easily obtained. But time is money. You should take advantage of our technology to cut to the chase and target specific locales, companies, and trends.

Ask us how. Contact Construction Monitor today.

4 Reasons Why Our Construction Industry Is Changing

Construction Industry

The construction industry changes within the last 10 years have been profound. Here’s why:

1. Client Expectations

It’s no longer enough to have a portfolio that displays what you did for someone else. (But don’t throw it out or delete that website page – its value has not diminished in the least.)

Technology demands you be able to show clients what you can do for them. Clients expect their construction projects to be customized, specific, and they expect energy-efficient solutions and improved safety-and-health options.

2. Less Resistance To Change

The construction industry is historically slow to embrace change but that in itself has been our biggest revolution. And the new, tech-driven jobs are attracting valuable talent, eager to create and build.

3. Startups Are Thriving

The new kids on the block are finding construction industry market opportunities fast. They’re also quick to locate funding.

4. Technology Innovations

The possibilities are limitless! Additive printing, augmented and virtual reality, drones, robotics, and additive printing; construction industry professionals say hardware and software investments are well worth it.

Continuing To Trend: Key Influencers

Technological and digital trends that will continue to evolve and dominate our industry include:

  • BIM – Building information modeling is 5-D technology that has been a game-changer for the construction industry. It will continue to be a foundation for project decision-making.
  • Building materials – Introduction of new building materials (like self-healing concrete) will lower materials costs as well as improve quality and safety.
  • Digital workflows – Workflow solutions deliver better design management, materials tracking, scheduling, crew management, and more.
  • High-definition surveying – GPS, new photo technologies; 3-D laser scanning will continue to improve turnaround times and accuracy.
  • Productivity management – In addition to workflow software solutions, NFC (near-field-communication) devices and sensors improve construction industry productivity.

Construction Monitor Technology Builds Business

Building permit information is a key influencer in developing business leads. With one report, you can learn more about commercial, residential, and solar construction projects in your area than from any other source.

Request a sample edition. If you have questions, contact us today.

Construction Industry Trends in U.S. Cities

construction industry trends

Finding new ways to maximize profits will be one of the construction industry trends you should explore this year. And maybe partnering with other companies can be the key to better business.

Here are five top metro areas for 2021 construction:

1. Austin – The Heart of Texas

Construction projects in Austin were affected by the pandemic. Some jobs simply ended or were put on hold indefinitely. Still, construction industry trends are bringing more contractors to Austin. Residential construction is driving most company business. One of the most notable large projects is the $338 million University of Texas Moody Center Arena.

2. Chicago Has Global Reach

Data centers are among the construction industry trends impacting Chicago in many ways. “With so many businesses turning to online work, there’s more than just the demand for data driving construction,” says Andy Stapleton of Mortenson Company. Chicago is becoming a distribution hub for online purchases, and the number of higher-education facilities near Chicago provides plenty of employee pools.

3. Down in Miami, Construction Is Up

The Magic City has a higher quality of life, reasonably low property taxes, no state income tax, and the best weather in the country. Peter Tuffo of Suffolk Construction says construction industry trends in Miami are brisk, thanks to year-round work. Some in-the-works projects include:

  • Condominiums
  • K-12
  • Luxury living accommodations
  • Market-rate rentals
  • Tourism-related cruise terminals

4. Seattle Remains Positioned for Growth

Construction spending is down, but hopes are high in Seattle. The need for office space pre-pandemic has not resumed, and one project, the Washington State Convention Center, currently suffers a financing shortfall. “Renewal comes in all shapes and sizes,” says Eric Olsen, Clark Construction.

5. Shuffle Off to Buffalo

“Buffalo has everything a great city needs,” says Richard Cavallaro, Gilbane Building Co. These include an airport, public transportation, reasonable cost of living, and cultural opportunities. Several companies are looking to invest in affordable housing new builds for this New York state community.

Using Data To Analyze Construction Industry Trends

Building permit data isn’t exactly new information, but ways to use it continue to evolve. What kind of data would help your business this year? Let us know. Contact Construction Monitor today.

2021 Construction Projects Reflect Optimism

Construction Projects

This may be the year data center construction projects make headlines, but what about companies that were hard-hit by last year’s pandemic? Some companies’ construction projects crashed and burned. Others stalled out but eventually continued as-planned with a new completion time.

Without a doubt, some nonresidential building sectors have been hit harder than others by the COVID-19 pandemic.Joe Bousquin

Down, Not Out

No industry was hit as hard as office spaces or hospitality and lodging; it may take years for a full recovery. But here are some construction projects that continued through 2020 despite being hard-hit:

  • citizenM – Dutch hotel chain opened two sites last year and is currently working in Boston and Washington, D.C.
  • CoverMyMeds – This $240 million healthcare office development pushed construction through the pandemic and is scheduled to open in spring 2021. Touchless systems, air scrubbers, and air quality sensors are some of the features.
  • IHG Hotels & Resorts – A Miami site was announced in November 2020; currently, 20 properties are in development.

2021 International Projects To Watch

The construction industry will strive to put economic uncertainties behind us while we make optimistic projections for the future. There’s a lot going on in the U.S. that bears watching, but here are some high-profile international projects:

  • Al-Zour mega-refinery – Texas company Fluor teams with Daewoo Engineering and Hyundai Heavy Industries on this $16 billion refinery in Kuwait. It’s predicted to be one of the largest refineries in the world.
  • Hong Kong International Airport – UK’s Balfour Beatty is constructing a $1.6 billion airport expansion.
  • P180 office building – Skanska of Sweden is working on this $94 million Warsaw, Poland, project, scheduled for 2022 completion.
  • Victoria Cross Tower – Lendlease has several North American construction projects in-the-works but this $1.2 billion development is “home” in Sydney, Australia.

Building Business Since 1989

We’ve helped companies develop marketing strategies that have led to construction projects and winning bids. Let our data professionals at Construction Monitor partner with you to make this year one of your best. Contact Construction Monitor or email us to get started.