Adobe Stock/Budimir Jevtic

Overall, Q2’s findings show continued optimism in the commercial construction industry, as contractor backlogs, new business confidence, and revenue expectations remain strong. However, a shortage of skilled workers continues to weigh heavily on the industry, while sustainable building appears to be presenting contractors with new opportunities for growth.

Key findings from this quarter’s report include:

  • Q2 marks the fourth consecutive quarter with more than 90 percent of contractors expressing concern over labor shortages. Concerns have increased quarter-over-quarter, with 47 percent of respondents in Q2 expecting problems finding skilled workers to worsen in the next six months.
  • The percentage of contractors concerned about fluctuations in steel prices jumped in Q2, with 63 percent of contractors identifying steel fluctuations as their top material of concern – an increase of 33 percent over Q2 2017.
  • 86 percent of contractors also feel the recently-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs will have at least a moderate impact on their business.
  • Sustainable, green building is an emerging area of opportunity. Over half of general contractors, nationwide, report that they gain a competitive advantage from the ability to build sustainably, and 80 percent of contractors report that their customers request energy efficient materials.

USG Corporation