Market To Market: The Roar And Rumble Of The Rising Construction Market

 

The pandemic threw a wrench into the construction market, but companies are digging out of the disruption. This year, the global construction market is projected to reach $12.5 trillion, up nine percent from 2020, according to Research and Markets. By 2025, the market could top $16.6 trillion.

North America is a major contributor to the construction industry, accounting for 26 percent of construction worldwide. This region is second only to Asia Pacific, which comprised 42 percent of the market in 2020. Dodge Data and Analytics forecasts total construction starts in the United States to climb to $877 billion in 2022, exceeding the 10-year high of $856 billion in 2019.

So how exactly do these billions of construction dollars get used? It depends on the sector. For example, building construction includes residential and commercial projects, such as offices and restaurants. Industrial construction involves factories, power plants and other large-scale production facilities. Another major sector is infrastructure construction, which involves public works projects such as roads, railways and pipelines.

To complete all these projects, the U.S. construction industry employs nearly 7.5 million general contractors, engineers, welders and other construction experts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the population grows, more workers are needed to construct buildings, roads and other structures. This year alone, Associated Builders and Contractors projects the need for an additional 430,000 construction professionals. 

By working with professional organizations, vocational training schools and chambers of commerce, construction companies can use promotional products to attract the qualified workers they need. Construction firms can also use logoed items to spread awareness about specific programs, show employee appreciation and hammer home their message.

Read on for key trends and ideas on how to break ground for new business in the construction market. 

Construction is literally a brick-and-mortar industry, requiring on-site interactions and activities. However, the pandemic has revealed that many construction jobs can successfully start online. Just as telehealth allowed patients to see doctors from the comfort and safety of home, telebuilding works in much the same way. By using digital tools and technology like drones, planners, inspectors and project managers can view job sites and collaborate remotely. This reduces in-person visits, helping to boost productivity and increase worker safety in a post-COVID-19 world.  

Telebuilding also allows construction firms to manage workers’ concerns about masks and vaccines. More than half (57 percent) of adults believe all employees—those vaccinated and unvaccinated—should be required to wear a mask when working on-site, according to a June survey from the American Staffing Association. And while most workers (60 percent) don’t want to reveal their own vaccination status, 66 percent say they have a right to know if their colleagues have been vaccinated.

Whether workers conduct their jobs on-site or remotely, construction companies can use promotional products to give employees a better experience. Logoed items such as backpacks and travel mugs allow construction managers to transition from their home office to job sites. And branded products such as tape measures and labels are always useful on construction sites.   

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The residential construction market is hot almost everywhere, but especially in the cities at right. Here, spending has spiked for residential building permits. See the percentage change in value from 2020 to 2021. 

Sources: Construction Coverage and Home Advisor

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President Biden’s roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan, the American Jobs Plan, will reportedly create millions of jobs—many in the construction sector. The president’s plan calls for more than 20,000 miles of roads to be modernized and 10,000 bridges to be repaired. Promotional products distributors can work with construction companies to recruit and retain workers who will be needed as projects begin to roll out.

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Construction workers are in short supply. Construction companies report the greatest need for these positions specifically, which opens huge opportunities for distributors to help companies promote themselves to job seekers:

Laborers 43%
Carpenters: 35%
Heavy equipment workers: 29%
Truck drivers: 25%
Concrete workers: 23%
Cement masons: 12%
Mechanics: 12%
Iron workers: 10%
Electricians: 9%
Pipelayers: 9%

Sources: Associated General Contractors and Autodesk

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Want to open the door in the residential construction market? Here are the nation’s top 10 homebuilders and their total closings for 2020:

  1.  D.R. Horton .....................................71,292
  2. Lennar Corp......................................53,376
  3. PulteGroup........................................24,624
  4. NVR...................................................19,766
  5. Taylor Morrison..................................12,524
  6. Meritage Homes Corp.......................11,834
  7. KB Home...........................................10,672
  8. Clayton Properties Group....................9,475
  9. Century Communities..........................9,453 
  10. LGI Homes...........................................9,339

Source: BuilderOnline.com

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The key to greater brand awareness could be right in homeowners’ toolboxes. More than half (61 percent) of U.S. homeowners have taken on a home-improvement project in the past year—and they have money to spend thanks to savings and stimulus checks. Over the next two years, homeowners expect to spend an average of $6,250 on renovations, and one in five say they plan to spend $10,000 or more. Here’s what tops homeowners’ remodeling wish lists:

70% want more space for cooking
31% want more space for exercising
40% want more space for entertaining
27% want more space for outdoor living
50% want more space for working from home
27% want more space for homeschooling
27% want more space for childcare 

Sources: NerdWallet and Home Advisor

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Construction cranes are common sights in big cities. While some may view them as eyesores, cranes are often indicators of a healthy and growing economy. At press time, these cities had the most cranes towering in the sky:

Washington, D.C................................45
Los Angeles, California......................43
Seattle, Washington...........................43
Portland, Oregon................................23
Denver, Colorado...............................22
Boston, Massachusetts.....................13
Chicago, Illinois.................................12
San Francisco, California..................11
Honolulu, Hawaii...............................10
New York, New York..........................10

Source: Rider Levitt Bucknall

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Some of the country’s largest cities have the most open and ongoing construction jobs. See the top 10 busiest cities for construction according to the number of projects underway:

  1. Houston, Texas.............................5,663
  2. Chicago, Illinois............................5,215
  3. New York, New York.....................5,173
  4. Jacksonville, Florida.....................4,924
  5. Seattle, Washington.....................4,486
  6. Los Angeles, California................4,241
  7. Dallas, Texas................................4,034
  8. Austin, Texas................................3,608
  9. Portland, Oregon..........................3,320
  10. San Antonio, Texas.......................3,256

Source: Next Insurance

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Women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but in 2020, they comprised only 11 percent of construction workers. Professional organizations, vocational training programs and construction businesses can use promotional campaigns to actively recruit women and highlight opportunities in the field. 

Source: Statista

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According to OSHA, one in five deaths among U.S. employees occurs in the construction industry. Promotional products and incentive programs can help educate workers about workplace safety and foster a culture of occupational wellness.

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Waterproof, breathable and exceptionally well designed, the ANSI 107‐2015 Type R Class 3-compliant XtremeDry® Breathable Rain Jacket is both lightweight and comfortable and chock full of features. Made with an exclusive Pongee Twill, a strong and supple fabric, it has full mesh lining, taped seams throughout and features 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material Segmented Comfort Trim for extreme visibility. In yellow only in sizes S-4X with a matching XtremeDry® Breathable Rain Pant also available. 

Vantage Apparel  /  PPAI 113235, S10  /  www.vantageapparel.com

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Featuring push-button retraction, a wrist strap and a built-in belt clip, the Foot-Locking Tape Measure makes a helpful promotional tool for construction firms, builders, material suppliers and renovators. 

Beacon Promotions, Inc.  /  PPAI 113702, S10  /  www.beaconpromotions.com

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Construction businesses can use labels, stickers and decals to identify workers’ tools, display safety messages or highlight warnings. These durable labels are designed to withstand the elements in all kinds of construction zones. 

Label Works  /  PPAI 111141, S3  /  www.labelworks.com

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The Project Planner Multi-Sheet Calendar helps construction managers stay on top of appointments, deadlines and bids. Customize it with a one-color or full-color imprint. 

Tru Art Advertising Calendars  /  PPAI 113720, S6  /  www.truart.com

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The Cheyenne Work Jacket is constructed of 12-ounce washed and peached 100-percent Boulder Cloth™ canvas with three-ounce polyfill insulation and a diamond-quilted, brushed, tricot-lined body and hood for durability and comfort. Details include rib-knit cuffs and waistband with six rows of spandex for superior memory retention. This jacket will withstand the toughest working conditions, provide warmth and keep the wearer moving and working hard on every jobsite. 

Dri Duck Traders  /  PPAI 318801, S5  /  www.driduck.com

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With the HidrateSpark Steel Water Bottle, workers can track their water intake and ensure they stay hydrated. An LED smart sensor puck glows when workers need to pause for a sip. The water bottle syncs with a free Hidrate app to calculate users’ daily water needs.  

The Allen Company  /  PPAI 113879, S5  /  www.allenmugs.com 

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Renovation companies can send a sweet client thank-you with the Chocolate Tools Gift Box. This four-piece set includes a hammer, saw, wrench and screwdriver crafted in milk or dark chocolate. It’s gift-ready in a gold or silver box with an optional foil stamp. 

NC Custom  /  PPAI 111662, S7  /  www.nccustom.com

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Kick off an employee wellness program with the Construction Hat Stress Reliever. The squeezable foam helps workers release tension after using their hands all day. 

Bullet  /  PPAI 113079, S12  /  www.pcna.com

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When inspectors travel from site to site, the Kobuk Camping Mug keeps their beverage the perfect temperature. This mug features a stainless-steel outer wall, a slider closure to keep drinks from sloshing and a base pad to prevent slipping.

Logomark  /  PPAI 110898, S12  /  www.logomark.com

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When a lumber yard wanted to thank customers after completing an addition or remodeling project, the company turned to a custom level from Beacon Promotions. The lumber yard knew the home or business owner would need to do some decorating, and the level would help them with the task. With a full-color, domed decal imprint, recipients would always remember where they received the helpful tool. And since this promotional item also includes a tape measure, it gets used often.  

Source: Beacon Promotions

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Audrey Sellers is a Dallas-Fort Worth-based writer and a former associate editor of PPB.

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Comments (1)
Dan Ahern
September 1, 2021
GREAT ARTICLE! It's my understanding that many construction firms prefer MADE IN USA products. Is there a list of MADE IN USA items tailored or aimed at construction companies besides the items shown in this article? Thank you and please keep these super articles coming! Best, Dan Ahern PROforma Albrecht
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