Construction industry plagued with pandemic problems
The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused several problems for the construction industry in the United States.
The construction industry has been struck with a number of problems since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting with a materials shortage and skyrocketing prices, the industry is now dealing with employment problems.
One one hand, there are fewer jobs available compared to before the pandemic began.
Ken Simonson, chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America, said the issues track back to a few things, including a shortage of raw materials and fewer commercial projects like stores, offices and hotels.
"Thirty-five states, including Texas, are well below the pre-pandemic high in employment," Simonson said. "Fourteen other states, including Utah and Idaho, have far more workers employed than they did pre-pandemic."
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As of June, Houston leads the nation in construction job losses. Since February 2020, the city is down more than 29,000 jobs. New York City is not far behind, having lost over 22,000 jobs. There is a far jump to the next city with construction job loss — Midland, Texas, is down just under 10,000 jobs.
On the other hand, contractors are having trouble filling jobs that are available.
"They are either unable to come back to work because they are ill themselves. They are worried about infection on the job site or they may have to take care of at home who is ill or hasn’t been able to go back to school," Simonson said.
Bill Heimann has been working for Tellepsen, a construction company, for the last 18 years, but the last year and a half has been the most challenging.
"This was unprecedented for both the general public as well as the construction industry," Heimann said.