COVID-era Challenges for the Construction Industry





The coronavirus pandemic came as a black swan for the construction industry. According to Statista, the US construction output in 2020 took a hit and contracted by 1.9%. This contraction was owed to many factors including a decrease in commercial activities and reduced mobility of labor as a result of nationwide lockdowns. However, the industry shortly rebounded on a path of a robust recovery with construction momentum further cemented as the economies started opening up towards early 2021. This article gives insight on how construction is picking up pace post-COVID and to what extent a shortage of skilled labor in the construction industry can affect future activity and growth.


According to the report "Construction in the US - Key Trends and Opportunities to 2025 (Q2 2021)”, the construction sector is expected to grow 1.8% in 2021 and 3.1% in 2022, before it moderates to an annual average growth of 2.2% over the remainder of the forecast period. The hallmark infrastructure bill worth US $1.2 trillion is another good omen for the construction output as it would open up massive funding to upgrade the country’s aging infrastructure (including roads, highways, bridges, rail, and broadband development). Unemployment and layoffs as a result of slowed construction activity in the pandemic would also be addressed with future infrastructure projects creating tremendous demand for Construction Roles such as: engineers, architects, construction managers, and senior leadership.


Despite having construction projects in the pipeline, the availability of labor is an issue across the US construction sector. According to CNN Business, the construction sector lost almost 1 million workers during the pandemic. Although the industry has been able to reabsorb nearly 80% of its workforce, the numbers still fall short by 238,000 workers compared to pre-pandemic levels.



According to the quarterly construction publication by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in September 2021: “nationwide, 92% of contractors are facing moderate to high levels of difficulty in finding skilled workers”. The difficulty not only remains limited to the shortage in quantitative terms but also extends to finding quality and experienced Construction, Architecture, and Engineering candidates altogether. This puts the construction sector in a difficult situation at a time when the U.S. economy is relying on infrastructure to put things back on track.


In such testing times for the construction industry, it is pertinent to have industry partners for quality human resources that are able to assist in providing the right-fit candidates for specialized Construction roles. No matter if you need a C-suite Executive, Senior Manager, or need assistance in finding Professional Engineers (PE), Registered Architects (RA), or PMP-eCertified Construction Managers (CCM), or other positions - AK Strategies has got your back in finding the best possible candidates to support your organization.


Your team here at AK Strategies offers a wide range of Construction Management support solutions including HR support, Construction roles staffing, executive placements, and confidential search. We have many senior candidates available that experts in their domain, and our team works hard to ensure that all our clients have access to the right candidates that match for education, experience, licenses, and certifications as applicable for each role sought. Get in touch with us today and let us help propel your business strategy.