NEWS

Commercial Construction Index indicates high revenue and employment expectations for 2017

The Index is a new quarterly economic indicator designed to gauge what drives the commercial construction industry and its leaders, including specific issues like backlog of work, new business pipeline, revenue projections, workforce issues, and access to financing. Given the sector’s importance to the U.S. economy and the outsized role it could play in years to come, the data contained in the Index will be vital to better understanding trends, challenges and opportunities. The research was developed with Dodge Data & Analytics (DD&A), the leading provider of insights and data for the construction industry, by surveying commercial and institutional contractors.

“This first-of-its-kind Index was born out of a need to understand the issues that affect commercial construction. The Index will deliver critical insights into the future health of the industry,” said Jennifer Scanlon, president and chief executive officer of USG Corporation. “USG is committed to providing solutions for our customers in order to help the entire industry make strong contributions to the U.S. economy. Through the Index we are able to identify areas of strength and pinpoint areas of improvement where industry leaders must focus.”
Two-thirds (66 percent) of contractors said they expect to employ more workers in the next six months, indicating growth in a sector that employs approximately 3 million Americans. But 61 percent of Index respondents reported difficultly finding skilled workers. The contractors reported the biggest shortages in the concrete, interior finishes/millwork, masonry, electrical and plumbing trades.
“The commercial construction industry is a vital engine for the American economy,” said Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “The projected growth uncovered in this research is good news for employers and workers, but there is reason for concern in the lack of qualified talent available in vital specialties. To get our economy growing to its full potential, we must ensure that we have a workforce that is ready to fill the available jobs. Each quarter, this first-of-its-kind research will make us smarter about future challenges and inform solutions for our country’s leaders.”
The report looks at the results of three leading indicators – backlog levels, new business opportunities and revenue forecasts – to generate a composite index on a scale of 0-100 that serves as an indicator of health for the contractor segment on a quarterly basis. The Q2 2017 composite index score was 76, representing continued health in the sector. This composite score is up two points from a 74 in the Q1 survey, driven primarily by a bump in the ratio between actual and ideal backlog. New business and revenue results also saw slight increases quarter-over-quarter.

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