Construction Insider: What to Look Forward to in 2021

Construction Insider: What to Look Forward to in 2021

Construction Insider is a monthly roundup of the latest news and insights in construction.

Biden’s climate plan to impact infrastructure projects

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to implement policies that will address the climate problem while creating millions of jobs. FCP

  • Biden’s climate plan aims to have carbon-free electricity production by 2035 and to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • Millions of new jobs are expected to be created to achieve these goals. Construction experts and skilled laborers will be needed to build sustainable infrastructure and deliver clean energy in the future.
  • Core to Biden’s proposal is a $2 trillion accelerated investment, although this will most likely meet political challenges to get approved.

US construction employment rate improves in many major cities

Improvement in construction job year-over-year rates were recorded in 22 major cities in the US in November 2020. ConstructConnect

  • The leading cities in improved construction employment rates are Kansas City, Cleveland, Nashville, Baltimore, and Raleigh.
  • The cities with the worst construction employment year-over-year numbers are Houston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, and New Orleans.
  • Unemployment rates continue to soar in other industries. Data show that no city has recorded an increase in overall employment rate for year-over-year numbers.

Construction starts to increase 4 percent in 2021

US construction starts are projected to improve by 4 percent in 2021, according to Dodge Data and Analytics. RER

  • The predicted 4% increase in 2021 follows a 14% decline in construction starts in 2020.
  • Dodge predicts that construction starts for residential buildings will increase by 5%, while construction starts for non-residential buildings will rise by 3%. Nonresidential construction is also predicted to improve by 7%.
  • Retail and hotel construction is expected to slow down in 2021, while construction starts for offices is projected to improve due to rising demand for data centers.

Biden vows to maximize OSHA in protecting workers from COVID-19

President-elect Joe Biden said in a statement that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be enforcing safety rules to protect workers from COVID-19. Reuters

  • Biden said that his administration will determine if new standards must be implemented so workers are fully protected from contracting the virus.
  • “In the midst of a global pandemic, OSHA has been prevented from using its full range of tools to protect workers from COVID-19,” Biden said.
  • The OSHA has recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Contractors continue to deal with building material shortage

As the pandemic continues, contractors also continue to face challenges regarding building material shortage, according to the US Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index (CCI). Contractor Mag

  • CCI data for the fourth quarter of 2020 shows that 41% of contractors attribute the ongoing shortage of building products to the pandemic.
  • In quarter three of 2020, only 15% of contractors pointed to the pandemic as the reason for ongoing product shortage.
  • The product that contractors found to be least available is wood/lumber. Among the contractors who deal with lumber shortage, 89% said that the shortage has a moderate to high impact on their business.

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