One of the significant contributors to the U.S. Economy is the construction industry, which accounts for over 733,000 employers and more than 7 million workers that create over $1.3 million worth of structures every year.
In 2020, the construction industry had faced the most severe demanding conditions because of the pandemic. This resulted in widespread project delays, payment delays to contractors as well as the shortage of materials due to the disruption of the supply chain caused by COVID-19. Consequently, prices of raw materials, especially iron, steel and lumber increased by 13% between March 2020 and April 2020; this price increase remains prevalent in current times. Considering the above, most construction job opportunities dropped by 6.3 million.
The sun shined on the construction industry once again with the advent of COVID-19 vaccine development. The related restrictions on economic activity were reduced and the economy began to recover from COVID-19. Additionally, the United States Construction Databook series, having released the infrastructural update for 2021, showed a promising outlook for the country’s industry and forecasted the U.S. construction industry to grow by more than 15% irrespective of the pandemic-induced challenges.
Parts of the light at the end of the tunnel for the construction industry are the construction projects (in the residential, institutional, industrial, infrastructure sectors) across the United States. Some include: the Ferrero North America announcement for the construction of a new chocolate factory in Illinois, which is set to being in 2021 and will create more than 50 job opportunities; The class-A logistics park of 826,000 square feet in Texas; and Tesla’s newly acquired 381 acres of land to build a cyber truck plant. The construction activities, which are estimated at $1.1 billion manufacturing projects, will offer the vital assistance required for the growth of the building sector.
In pre-COVID-19 era in America, there was already a shortage in health care facilities. The advent of COVID-19 accentuated the need for health care centers. To tackle this problem, several institutions announced their intent to expand their current capacity. One of them is the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia which plans to spend $3.4 billion dollars on a 22-story inpatient tower, adding 300 beds and around 200 rooms if needed. The expected cost for the in-patient tower is $1.7 billion and will probably be operational by 2027.
Other institutions that have also announced their scheme to expand their current capacity are The Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City (cost $1 billion), the Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center in Columbus (cost of $1.79 billion), and Indiana University Health in Indianapolis (cost of $1.6 billion).
The challenges faced by the construction industry due to the COVID-19 would be short-term as the construction industry in the United States is forecasted to grow by 15.6% by the end of 2021 through 2025. Simply put, regardless of the challenges faced by the construction industry, the forecasted medium and long-term growth remains unimpaired. This is evident in the announcement made by the Bureau of Labor statistics on September 3, 2021 which indicated that the construction’s jobless rate dropped to 4.6% in August from July’s 6.1. The Associated Builders and Contractors also announced that businesses would need to hire 430 workers, which has already begun, and 1 million workers in the next few years.
The Construction industry is expected to grow steadily within the next four quarters. This growth will, in-turn, bring about opportunities in all sectors within the industry to include the residential, institutional, industrial, and infrastructural sector. The growth will require skilled candidates, especially the ones with education or degrees in construction science, civil engineering, or a related discipline. Also valuable in a competitive job market is the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) certification, offered through the Construction Management Association of America.
Conclusively, for the most part, the job outlook for construction managers is promising as the new construction projects will pave the way for more employment opportunities, especially for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in construction science, civil engineering, or a related discipline and one who is certified in Construction Manager (CCM) offered through the Construction Management Association of America.
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