Job seekers and construction firm leaders alike are all filled with a sense of cautious anticipation, knowing that some of the struggles of 2020 will continue well into 2021. People everywhere are wondering what might come with the new year after a year full of surprises. This includes Construction Drive, whose recent post, “7 coronavirus-related construction challenges that will continue in 2021” got us thinking: what should our I Build America – Ohio community do to prepare for the new year? Today, we share our top three things we recommend everyone in the Ohio construction industry keep in mind for 2021.
What’s the first thing you should expect? It’s something you’re probably already very familiar with:
Get Used to Continued Labor Shortage
This “old news” is expected to stay current in 2021. Last January, we faced a historic labor shortage. The pandemic proliferated this reality. Even when the once-laid off are offered another position, many are refusing to jump back in. Virus concerns are only just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the reasons why some members of the construction industry are choosing to stay off the jobsite.
What does that mean for those interested in joining the construction industry? You may have a better opportunity to get your foot in the door. That is, in certain sectors. This labor shortage in the middle of a pandemic has led many projects from being delayed or, in some cases, completely shut down. This brings us to our second item to stay on the lookout for in 2021:
Plan For Delays Outside Our Control
Sure, there may be some projects that can’t get completed soon enough, but for many, the project deadline is still to be determined. The effects of COVID-19 on industries like entertainment and hospitality will continue to be felt well into 2021. A major increase in new construction projects for sports stadiums or event venues is unlikely. Not only are these social centers expected to continue to be impacted, office building construction is also a concern. The radical shift from employees working in central office buildings to remote set-ups are sure to continue and, therefore, delay future growth.
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, non-essential procedures may continue to take a backseat to COVID-19 care, preventing existing healthcare companies from expanding or new healthcare buildings from being built. These additional job opportunities we mentioned in our first prediction are also dependent upon an improved supply chain and lower cost of materials, which isn’t exactly guaranteed this year:
Expect Higher Costs and Less Supply Chain Reliability
According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the cost of materials has been rising since May. Not only that, the global supply chain is all out of sorts as production levels readjust following a year filled with uncertainty. All in all, the demand continues to stay high and the supply is still too low to meet the need, meaning more project delays and added costs.
All three of these projections impact one another. Given their cyclical nature, it’s clear that we will all have to continue to work together throughout the new year. What are you planning for in 2021? From students to skilled laborers, we are here to support you. Stay up-to-date on all our most recent news all year long by following along on our blog and signing up for our newsletter. Click here to sign up today.