Construction Contributing to Economic Growth
According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, for the first time since 2008, the construction industry has contributed more than $650 billion to the U.S. economy. In most states, construction is finally seeing growth that it hasn’t experienced since the Great Recession. At the peak of the industry in 2006, 7.7 million people were employed in construction. To contrast, today that figure is about 6.7 million people, which though not quite as high, is up from 5.4 million in 2011.
The states that have felt the construction boom are also the ones experiencing population growth. Unlike the slowly-growing populations of our southern neighbors Alabama and Mississippi, Georgia’s head count has been trending up since the recession, specifically in urban areas. The increase in population is fueling apartment construction, which had been previously been on pause. Work is also being resumed on our infrastructure, including roads and bridges. This pent-up demand for new housing, offices and infrastructure is quickly catching up to the industry.
As a result of the construction boom, the demand for skilled workers, particularly carpenters and electricians, has gone up significantly. Unfortunately, according to a survey done by the Associated General Contractors in 2015, 86% of contractors struggle to fill these open positions. The recession had turned off many high schools from encouraging students to attend trade schools and instead emphasize the path of a traditional college education.
In Georgia, both the private builders and the state are working to encourage students to change the trend and choose a skilled trade. It bears repeating, working in the construction industry has a number of perks. As always, we encourage anyone who’s interested in this field to contact our office to discuss an apprenticeship, internship or another opportunity.