Construction Industry Trends to Watch for in 2020

The construction industry has been booming ever since the world started to rebound after the Great Recession. The year 2020 brings several changes that contractors should keep in mind while they grow their businesses. With a greater emphasis on technology, the widespread acceptance of the design-build approach, and an increasing importance of hiring skilled labor, you can see that there are new avenues of the market to explore or continue developing.

  1. Labor Shortage Continues
    As members of the baby boomer generation continue to retire from construction, you’ll continue to see labor shortages particularly in expert fields. The economic crash of the late 2000s drove millions of workers out of the construction industry in search of more reliable jobs. Ten years later, those numbers still haven’t recovered. Companies will try to meet their needs by working to secure contracts with a smaller pool, usually in the form of higher pay and increased benefits. They will also look for ways to bypass certain types of labor they can’t secure, such as the use of drones or other technology.
  1. Modular Construction Increases
    In the name of efficiency, modular construction will likely keep increasing in popularity. Businesses are finding that they can complete projects earlier and at a lower cost if they can produce certain aspects of the building offsite. This allows them to control the conditions and often create more usable products in the same amount of time. Less work also makes it easier to work with a limited labor pool. Improvements to modular construction to make the buildings competitive with site-built construction will help to persuade more people to give it a try.
  1. New Construction Slows
    When the economy started to rebound, this led to a flood of new construction projects. The smaller pool of qualified workers and construction businesses meant that some regions saw projects booked years out. In certain parts of California, this might continue for some time. Otherwise, you can plan on a gradual slowdown of new starts in residential and commercial construction. This is mostly tied to a decrease in demand, but also relates to a rise in tariffs and trade disputes with countries that provide a large amount of manufacturing.
  1. Technology Takes Prominence
    The use of technology has been one of the best ways that contracting businesses can get work done without having to track down experts who are retiring in droves. Even if you weren’t an early adopter of drones, AI or automation, there’s good reason to get in now. At this time, technology is rapidly expanding in various construction fields but also changing quickly. This means that you’re not likely to see tools and devices taking over jobs as much as enhancing your work or making it more efficient. Getting on board now may make the difference between staying current with your competition or falling behind.
  1. Design-Build Is Here to Stay
    Involving contractors in the design stages of a project has been the norm in some construction fields for years. At the higher levels, particularly for government-funded projects, people have been slower to accept an approach that combines the design and bidding parts of the process. This is changing, as more organizations realize that they can save a lot of time on a project and promote greater accuracy by getting the contractors who will do the work on board at the beginning.

The year 2020 is going to be an exciting year for the construction industry, full of opportunities for contractors with the right skills and experience. To start building your career as a licensed contractor, visit CSLS today!

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