Data Shows Industry Returning to Pre-Covid Levels

June 19, 2020
Excavator digging on a construction site.

A new survey by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) indicates that construction activity is returning to pre-coronavirus levels in many parts of the country, and some firms are adding workers. The new economic data, however, also shows some future projects are still being canceled and many others are being delayed.

Construction activity has returned to pre-coronavirus levels in 34 states, based on data on workers’ hours analyzed by Procore. And construction has returned to pre-coronavirus levels in Dallas and Miami, according to Procore’s data on 8 large metro areas. Meanwhile, the association’s survey found that only 8 percent of construction firms were forced to furlough or lay off workers in June while 21 percent report adding employees, compared to one-in-four firms letting workers go between March and May.

Simonson added that the AGC survey and Procore’s data show the severe toll the pandemic took on the construction industry. For example, 61 percent of firms report having had at least one project halted or canceled because of the pandemic. 

Only 12 percent of firms report they plan to furlough or lay off staff over the next four weeks while 17 percent anticipate adding to their headcount during that time span. Yet even as more construction firms predict they will expand during the next several weeks, 42 percent do not expect demand will recover to normal levels for at least four months.

Construction firms are counting on additional federal help to improve demand for construction and make it easier to return people to their payrolls.