Construction Workers and The Great Resignation

construction workers

U.S. job openings in 2021 hit a record high, according to the Labor Department. But the workers who voluntarily quit their jobs last year (47.4 million) also hit record-breaking highs. Dissatisfaction among U.S. workers last year led to turmoil in the labor market.

The coronavirus caused 31% of workers to leave their jobs last year. But childcare issues impacted a lot of working families. Pew Research Center recently revealed the top 10 reasons why there was an exodus of workers in 2021:

  1. Pay too low
  2. No advancement opportunities
  3. Felt disrespected at work
  4. Childcare issues
  5. No scheduling flexibility/work hours
  6. Benefits not good
  7. Would rather relocate
  8. Too many hours
  9. Not enough hours
  10. Employer required a COVID vaccination

Within our industry, 207,000 construction workers quit their jobs in November 2021. That number represented approximately 2.7% of our workforce.

Associated Builders and Contractors said the number of construction workers predicted to leave the construction industry in 2022 will be about 1.2 million. The good news is, about 1.3 million workers are expected to leave other industries to become construction workers.

In February 2022, ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said the workforce shortage is the most acute challenge facing the construction industry. “After accounting for inflation, construction spending has likely fallen over the past 12 months. As outlays from the infrastructure bill increase, construction spending will expand, exacerbating the chasm between supply and demand for labor.” ABC encourages contractors to use flexible, competency-based, and market-driven education methodologies to build a construction workforce that is safe, skilled, and productive. 

Construction Monitor Business-Building Data

Building a solid, competent team of construction workers for your business is a priority. But you also owe them your commitment to explore as many opportunities for work and profit as possible. That’s why you need Construction Monitor, the ultimate lead source. Our marketing team will presort the analytics you need for your company from hundreds – even thousands – of demographics.

For more information specific to your company, contact Construction Monitor.

When Your Construction Business Is Family Business

family construction business

She’s daddy’s little girl. And she always will be, even after she becomes a shrewd construction business strategist. After years of mentoring her, it’s time to ensure your legacy will continue to thrive.

Construction Business Succession Planning

Most of us don’t think about retirement while we’re young, but we should. And we know we should put legalities in place, not only for retirement but also for sudden illness or death. If you’ve been putting it off and you woke up this morning on the downhill side of 60, it’s time to take action, something you know a lot about because after all… You’re in the construction business.

Strategic corporate finance experts can guide you as you design a succession plan to protect your family and construction business. Here are 4 steps:

  1. Begin the succession-planning conversation – Oaklyn Consulting CEO Frank Williamson says many companies don’t survive the transition from first- to second-generation ownership, perhaps due in part to poor planning and unrealistic expectations. Selling the business upon your retirement or death is a viable option that shouldn’t be automatically rejected.
  2. Identify discord/seek resolution – Families are messy and emotional. Set the ground rules for family discord mediation and establish guidelines for professional behavior during work hours. Family-based emotional baggage needs to be checked at the door, every working day.
  3. Gift or sale? – Many factors, including your retirement income are to be considered. Once the transfer terms are settled, you will create a business ownership agreement that refines the process.
  4. Groom your successor(s) – It’s a process; handing your share of responsibilities over to family member(s). It’s also a great time to analyze your income streams and consider ways to increase profits.

Don’t Wait

Is your company a limited-liability corporation or a non-family member partnership? The time to start is now. “The earlier you begin the process, the more time you have to make well-thought-out decisions,” says Williamson. Professional guidance can minimize stress now and later.

Construction Monitor also offers professional guidance for you and/or your marketing team.

If you choose to DIY (do-it-yourself) marketing strategies, we encourage you to devote dedicated time to business-building. Don’t compromise that time. We won’t compromise our commitment to your business development.

For construction business data analytics, contact Construction Monitor.

Construction Industry Feb Starts: We Get By With a Little Help From Our (Manufacturing) Friends

The total construction industry starts increased nine percent in February 2022. The new construction of three “large manufacturing facilities” boosted nonresidential building starts up 32%. Without the large manufacturing projects, total construction would have declined six percent in February, according to Construction Business Owner magazine.

The manufacturing facilities are:

  • $10 billion – Intel chip fabrication plants/Chandler, AZ
  • $1.5 million – Steel mill/Osceola, LA
  • $550 million – Intel semiconductor facility renovation/Rio Rancho, NM

Manufacturing may continue to drive construction industry business, but other sectors are facing challenges.

Other construction industry statistics for February 2022 include:

  • Nonbuilding construction – <1%
    • Highway/bridges – >2%
    • Misc. – <26%
    • Public works – <23%
    • Utility/gas plant starts – >66%
  • Nonresidential – >32%
    • Commercial – <8%
    • Institutional – <22%
  • Residential – <3%
    • Multifamily – >2%
      • $400 million – Central condos/St. Petersberg, FL
      • $220 million – Journal Squared apartments/Jersey City, NJ
      • $147 million – Miami World Tower/Miami, FL
    • Single-family – <4%

February 2022 was negatively influenced by weather and the war against Ukraine. The continued material and labor issues and expenses may be causing some construction industry business owners to put the brakes on project startups. They may be pausing just long enough to examine areas in which costs can be cut for better balance.

Data Continues To Drive Construction Operations, Marketing

Our construction industry is embracing digital transformation. Ninety-five percent of construction project site workers say they’d utilize technology-driven tools that would make their jobs easier. Software implementations have added efficiency and accuracy that saves time and money, so it’s an all-around win-win for companies investing in technology.

Construction Monitor data is used by project managers and construction industry business owners for project statistics and marketing leads. Our information helps: It tells you what your competitors and potential partners are developing. You can study historical trends so you can make informed decisions about future investments. All you need to do is use it. We’ll help with that too. Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact Construction Monitor.

Construction Labor Shortage

construction worker shortage

The construction industry will need to attract nearly 650,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2022…-Construction Business Owner

Home Depot plans to hire 100,000 sales associates by Spring 2022. If this seems optimistic, examine some of the incentives the mega-company plans to use:

  • 401(k) savings plan w/company match
  • Accelerated hiring – 24-hour or even same-day offers
  • Company stock discounts
  • Dependent care emergency backup options
  • Health and personal benefits
  • Paid family leave
  • Performance-based cash bonus program
  • Tuition reimbursement

If you’re thinking your personal small-business construction labor shortage strategy cannot even begin to match Home Depot’s, perhaps you’re right. But:

“In the wake of the pandemic, employers are thinking more holistically about their employees and their goals,” said economist AnnElizabeth Konkel. Personal and family life motivations have moved to the top of the list of desired employment incentives for Gen Zs and Millennials. Extending benefits to spouses and children is one way to do that.

Creativity and novelty are piquing the interest of a sluggish workforce. For more long-term strategies, some companies are changing the way they pay their workers.

The construction labor shortage may need more heavyweight solutions. “The construction industry desperately needs qualified, skilled craft professionals to build America,” said Michael Bellaman, ABC president and CEO. A set of steak knives is nice, but construction labor shortage incentives must include higher wages and career goals to encourage new hires to quickly learn critical, specialized skills.

Construction Monitor

Our blog shares what we’ve learned from other sources as well as ideas we hope will help your construction industry-related business. But our building permit data tools are what we sell, and they can be the best investment you’ll make this year. Construction Monitor isn’t “just” building permit information, although that’s a powerful tool. Learn more about architects, contractors, and owners/builders. Get the data you need to analyze projects and build business.

There are several ways to contact Construction Monitor. To learn more, try one today.

What We’ve Learned: COVID and the Construction Industry

COVID and the construction industry

Maybe, just maybe, this viral string of pandemics is over, at least for this decade. Construction industry businesses continue to do damage control. If you believe everything happens for a reason, one of the key takeaways from this experience is: we learned ways to improve the way we work.

Construction Industry Communications and Data Management

Preventing disputes or resolving them quickly, particularly during and in the aftermath of the pandemic, will likely require many to re-evaluate standard practices.AIA Contract Documents

Some of the things we learned from the pandemic are:

  • Dispute resolution is faster when compromise is on the table. We have already reduced the length of time we averaged in 2019 to settle a dispute, possibly because our communications have improved over the years.
  • Effective utilization and management of data can make a huge difference later. If there’s an issue during a project or worse – a later one that may require legal resolution – the company with the best documentation has an edge. If you must sort through numerous emails and spreadsheet updates made by-who-when to validate your decision-making, you lose, one way or another.
  • Learn the meanings behind the words in contracts. Misinterpreting or misunderstanding contract clauses is not an excuse for failure to comply with agreements. Some of the construction industry contract phrases with which to familiarize yourself include:
    • Frustration of purpose – Excuses a party from breaching a contract when the contract has lost all value
    • Impossibility/impracticability of purpose – Allows a party to suspend/avoid performance when an event beyond its control makes the performance of the contract no longer capable of being performed
    • Force majeure – Releases from liability because of uncontrollable events (war, weather) that are not the fault of any party but which make it difficult/impossible to fulfill the contract

Every week, we take raw and unfiltered building permit data and sort it for you. We examine building and renovation projects and customize the information for you. With Construction Monitor, you’ve got an entire team of marketing pros available to discuss business development possibilities. Your possibilities. Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact Construction Monitor.

Inflation Will Continue to Impact Construction Industry

construction industry

There was a comedienne whose catchphrase was, “It’s always something.” We are cautiously optimistic that the pandemic will be something we can someday tell our grandchildren about. But you might need to take your mask off to blow-up balloons today because the construction industry is dealing with inflation.

9 Ways To Manage Your Construction Industry Business During Inflation

Long-term trends ranging from high housing demand to tight labor markets will probably fuel inflation well into 2023 even if the pandemic, and short-term price pressures caused by it, begin to fade…-Construction Dive

There are several strategies for your construction industry company to employ as you struggle with inflationary prices and economic downturns resulting from it. Some are just common sense approaches for any business. Some are construction industry-specific approaches to manage inflation:

  1. Consider implementing commodity tracking logs.
  2. Differentiate between strategic and nonstrategic spending.
  3. Don’t prioritize low bidding over quality work.
  4. Implement TVD (target value delivery). TVD is a management practice used during every phase to deliver fixed-budget projects while meeting the client’s operational requirements.
  5. Integrate skilled trades early in a project; pay them quickly.
  6. Lock-in material prices earlier and leverage warehousing.
  7. Partner with companies that are knowledgeable about global markets.
  8. Scrutinize work processes and trim them. Eliminate unnecessary work and automate where possible.
  9. Take communications to an even higher level. Misunderstandings will cost more now than ever.

Conference Board Global Chief Economist Dana Peterson said transitioning to renewable energy, immigration restrictions, and returning production to the U.S. will also drive inflation. Incentives that may reduce inflation include:

  • Enhanced infrastructure
  • Improved efficiency
  • Increased automation
  • More remote/contract work
  • Retailer price competition

National and global economics will always impact the construction industry. And Construction Monitor data analysis based on building permit information will always increase construction business marketing leads if you know how to use it. Ask us what’s in it for you and your company: Contact Construction Monitor.

Will War Affect Construction Business in 2022?

construction industry during war

Another war, another continent, and heartbreaking challenges to populations in both countries. While the Kremlin tries to hide the reality of its actions from Russians, it can’t hide the solid blow its economy has suffered. The casualty count in Ukraine continues to rise. Here in the United States, construction business owners brace themselves for the fallout: a “triple threat” of materials shortages, supply chain tangles, and inflationary prices.

U.S. Construction Business Fears War-Related Issues

You’ve made it through the pandemic, and your business has stabilized. Can you relax? The war will negatively impact most companies, and others will flatline.

“With so many things going on in the world and with the economy right now, more businesses than ever are going to enter the flatline,” says entrepreneur and CEO Ben Walker via Forbes. If your construction business flatlines, you have only two ways to go: grow or decline. “…Many will decline. A few will never open their doors again,” adds Walker.

Russia is one of the largest producers of copper and aluminum. These metals’ material prices went high in January. Now, they will likely go higher.

It was 1987 when we first began analyzing construction industry data, like input prices. Input prices consider all costs involved in the production of goods or services. We are seeing the biggest surge in input prices since data collection was recorded.

Another construction industry sector – architecture – is already flatlining. Post-COVID architectural billings were on a slow but steady upswing. While there was visible growth, primarily in Southern states, where the index hit 56%, now it “has languished around 51” for three months, says Construction Dive.

Construction Monitor’s Business-Building Ideas

When construction materials are in short supply, marketing materials are always available from the Construction Monitor team. Small, mid-size, and even large organizations benefit from the marketing ideas and tools we offer. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

SOSDCB: Same Old Services, Different Construction Business

construction business

“Affordable.”

“Dependable.”

“Effective and efficient.”

“The best.”

“We care.”

Does any company within any industry in the United States ever say otherwise? Have you ever seen a blog or website that reads:

“We’ve been late a few times, but it really wasn’t our fault,”

or

“We have to price our construction business services higher than Fly By Night Remodeling because we include workers’ family medical and dental insurance, 401K options, and the owner’s wife likes to travel.”

Lowball bidding for construction services is a strategy that works. It’s just not the best strategy for getting A-list jobs. You want a portfolio with quality work that lets your construction business shine; that sets you apart from competitors. Your construction business strategy can be different and better.

Here are suggestions to solidify your presence in a highly competitive industry. Your construction business can become a standout when your presentations include:

  • Asking questions – What are your most important criteria that will determine selection? What other companies are bidding? And the last, most important question is, what would it take to win this contract right now?
  • Building trust face-to-face – It’s not a new strategy, but it still works well. Seeking new customers, “wining and dining,” and not just handing out box-seat tickets but attending events with your new clients lets them get to know who you are. Small talk reinforces the values your company represents, which builds trust and wins better business.
  • Finding out what really matters – Price is seldom the determining factor in a quality job. Your subcontractor selections, reputation for problem-solving, and other factors may weigh heavily in the decision-making process. If you really want this job, rather than submit the bid online or by phone, meet with the potential client.

Construction Monitor

We are affordable, dependable, effective and efficient, and the best at what we do. But don’t take our word for it. Ask for opinions from valued construction business resources, read testimonials, and check out current news about Construction Monitor.

Then contact Construction Monitor. Our marketing professionals care about your construction business. Let us prove it.

Managing Construction Safety With Software

construction safety

There’s been a lot of speculation and discussion about this year’s evolution of the construction industry. We’re going to grow more, spend more, do more in 2022 than we have in a long time. We’re facing many challenges, too, but the one thing we know for sure is: It could be worse. Much worse. Our technology investments will impact construction safety in 2022.

Construction Technology, Software Investments in the Field

A 2022 industry outlook study revealed construction industry companies are poised to invest more in software and construction technology this year. Construction technology impacts onsite project construction safety:

  • AI – Artificial intelligence software on job sites prevents accidents by providing real-time monitoring of safety risks.
    • Power gloves can reduce hand injuries due to overuse by providing artificial – but effective – strength to workers’ grips.
    • Smart hard hats – You know what it feels like: Microsleep is when you’re not asleep but not fully awake. Smart hard hats can detect brain waves and reduce the risks of injury to workers.
    • Wearables/virtual reality sensors mounted on equipment features allow smart boots to sound an alert if a worker is dangerously at-risk.
  • Data collection – This software performs safety analyses and equipment conditions.
  • Drones – Safety and security can be monitored and managed in real-time.

Environment, Health, and Safety Software

Research from Liberty Mutual found that non-fatal injuries cost
companies more than $1 billion per week
. –Construction Dive

Environment, health, and safety (EHS) management software tracks trends and performance, risks, and challenges so project managers can make knowledge-based decisions. This software also makes staying in compliance with constantly changing safety regulations easier:

  • Mobile-device friendly views
  • Onsite data is accessible by every level of management
  • OSHA/other regulatory standards captured; easier auditing processes
  • Safety reporting is faster/easier

Before You Buy: Ask Questions

Follow our 9 Questions To Ask When Seeking Construction Software when you consider this year’s software investment. Add to those questions: How will this software reduce risk and increase construction safety?

If you have questions about Construction Monitor’s software results for your company, contact a Construction Monitor marketing professional.

CFS for Construction Projects

construction projects

Cold-formed steel (aka light-gauge steel) is the term we use for products shaped by roll-forming steel at room temperature. It’s been used on construction projects since the 1850s but lacked approved information about the material’s use as well as any uniform design standards or code requirements.

Since its standardization in 1946, it’s been used for:

  • Bridges
  • Car bodies
  • Draining facilities
  • Equipment manufacturing
  • Firearms
  • Grain bins
  • Highway products
  • Railway cars
  • Storage racks
  • Transmission towers/poles

Within construction projects, it’s used for numerous applications:

  • Beams
  • Built-up sections
  • Columns
  • Floor decking
  • Joists
  • Studs

“CFS as a construction material has many advantages,” says BuildSteel. “For example, CFS doesn’t shrink or split, won’t absorb moisture, and resists warping, termites, and fire.”

CFS Advantages

It’s an exciting time to be in the construction industry. We’re evolving with technology and developing sustainable, new materials and use processes. We’re also managing challenging regulations and limitations.

CFS products are equal to or surpass traditional materials:

  • Environmentally friendlier – CFS products are made of 25% recycled materials. Material waste is less than 1%, and it’s 100% recyclable.
  • Reduces onsite labor – Pre-engineered steel framing makes assembly fast and accurate.
  • Retains steel properties – Does not absorb moisture, shrink, split, or warp, and repels fire and pest infestations.
  • ROI – CFI is cost-competitive and ideal for mass production.
  • Speed – Pre-assembled frames/fabrications reduce turnaround time.
  • Strength/ductility – Good for high-wind and earthquake regions.
  • Versatility – Ideal for all building types; multi-story housing/hotels, stand-alone pre-fabricated units, etc.

Cold-formed steel (literally) provides the framework for solid, sustainable construction projects. Just as pre-fabrication saves time and money for increased profitability, Construction Monitor data can generate profits, too. We take building permit numbers and compress them into usable, actionable information for lead generation and business development. Ask us how.

Contact Construction Monitor.