Commercial construction is in high demand across the country and contractors remain optimistic about the current and forward-looking health of the sector, according to the Q3 USG Corporation + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index.
Nearly all of the contractors surveyed this summer (95 percent) expect revenues to grow or remain stable over the next 12 months compared to the prior 12 months, nearly the same percentage as in the Q2 2017 survey. Ninety-three percent of contractors also expect to see profit margins stay the same or increase in the next 12 months, reflecting healthy contractor sentiment.
Sixty percent of contractors report having difficulty finding skilled workers, compared to 61 percent in Q2. Ninety-one percent of contractors said they are at least moderately concerned about the skill level of the workforce, with 66 percent of contractors in the South expressing concerns about the availability of skilled labor. The Index release comes on the heels of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which are expected to exacerbate existing concerns about labor shortages in the South.
“This quarter’s findings reveal strong optimism about future prospects for the industry, and also highlight a real need to address ongoing concerns about skilled labor shortages and the impact it has on building in the U.S.,” said Jennifer Scanlon, president and CEO of USG Corp.