TRD Insights: Construction industry bleeds almost 1M jobs in April

A survey from the Associated General Contractors of America found that more than half of contractors furloughed or terminated employees since March

TRD New York /
May.May 15, 2020 08:00 AM
The U.S. construction industry hemorrhaged nearly a million jobs in April, according to a survey from the Associated General Contractors of America and data from construction technology firm Procore. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

The U.S. construction industry hemorrhaged nearly a million jobs in April, according to a survey from the Associated General Contractors of America and data from construction technology firm Procore. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

The U.S. construction industry hemorrhaged nearly a million jobs in April, according to a survey from the Associated General Contractors of America and data from construction technology firm Procore.

The AGC survey found that more than half of contractors have furloughed or terminated employees since March. The chief reason was owners or developers halting underway projects. Sixty-three percent of contractors stopped work at projects that were underway in April or May.

Those who halted projects cited reasons that sometimes overlapped. The most common factor, cited by 37 percent, was an owner’s concern about Covid-19 on the job site. About 31 percent said the owner expected less demand for what they were building because of the pandemic, and 30 percent of contractors cited the need to comply with government orders to halt nonessential construction. More than 1 in 5 said private funders got cold feet.

The reasons for work stoppages varied considerably by geography, however.

In the Northeast, where states enacted sweeping stay-at-home orders and banned nonessential work, 64 percent of contractors said projects were halted to comply with state or local orders. In the South, only 14 percent did. There, most construction sites that closed did so at the will of owners and developers.

The survey also found that the small business Paycheck Protection Program offered through the federal CARES Act has helped general contractors significantly. Fifty-five percent of contractors received and used funds from the forgivable-loan program.

Contractors also think Washington could do more to protect them from the pandemic’s economic fallout. More than 60 percent of contractors want a “safe harbor” rule that provides firms with protection from tort or employment liability for failing to prevent a Covid-19 infection.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The process for challenging property assessments is so antiquated, officials won’t do Zoom meetings. (iStock)

“A recipe for disaster”: Fighting property taxes in a pandemic

“A recipe for disaster”: Fighting property taxes in a pandemic
Clockwise from left: Bronx housing court at 1118 Grand Concourse, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Judge Lawrence Marks, New York Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street (Getty; Google Maps; Wikipedia; New York State Courts)

Attorneys find ways to “eject” tenants without Housing Court

Attorneys find ways to “eject” tenants without Housing Court
Cadillac Fairview CEO John Sullivan and the RCB Centre in Toronto (Google)

This Canadian office giant has a strategy for a return to work

This Canadian office giant has a strategy for a return to work
Bars, restaurants and live entertainment venues around the world are now weighing their reopening options. Some owners say they can’t cover the cost of operating at reduced capacity. (Getty)

Facing the music: Entertainment venues, restaurants weigh reopening options

Facing the music: Entertainment venues, restaurants weigh reopening options
Anbang’s Andrew Miller, Mirae’s Peter Lee and (from left) JW Marriott Essex House, the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco and the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole (Credit: Marriott, Westin, Four Seasons)

Buyer’s remorse?: How Anbang’s $5.8B hotel deal went sideways

Buyer’s remorse?: How Anbang’s $5.8B hotel deal went sideways
Softbank's Marcelo Claure, Masayoshi Son and Rajeev Misra (Getty; iStock)

Internal feud at SoftBank casts doubt on Vision Fund

Internal feud at SoftBank casts doubt on Vision Fund
Commercial real estate property sales fell to their lowest level in a decade as a result of the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (Pixabay)

TRD Insights: Commercial deal volume plummeted 71% in April

TRD Insights: Commercial deal volume plummeted 71% in April
Bed Bath & Beyond is planning to reopen 600 U.S. stores as states begin to wind down shelter-in-place orders. (Getty)

Bed Bath & Beyond to reopen 600 US stores

Bed Bath & Beyond to reopen 600 US stores
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...