Construction jobs soar as sector booms
Construction is booming on a global scale. In the UK, the stamp duty holiday caused a rise in demand for property that had a knock-on effect on the construction industry.
Combined with rising commercial and civil engineering work, the industry has bounced back with vigour after essentially shutting down during part of 2020. This boost in work orders has prompted a colossal rise in hiring, with June hiring rates soaring above pre-pandemic levels according to a report by LinkedIn.
The figures from LinkedIn’s report make for an incredibly encouraging read. Not only are hiring rates nearly 130% above those of June 2020, they are 27% higher than June 2019.
This represents incredible growth and indicates an industry going from strength to strength, despite increased prices for materials and delayed lead times because of the scarcity of parts during lockdowns as well as Brexit trade issues with the EU.
IHS Markit figures showed that Construction grew at its fastest rate in 24 years (since the survey began) in June, with total new orders expanding at one of the strongest rates since 2007.
The housing boom and growing population numbers have played a huge part in the growth of the construction industry, particularly within the UK.
The Global Construction 2030 report, which looked at global construction growth up to 2030, pinpointed the UK as a stand-out growth market, overtaking Germany to become Europe’s largest and the sixth biggest in the world by 2030.
In the US, analysis has found that 4 million new homes will be needed to meet current demand. India and Mexico, too, are experiencing construction booms that are predicted to continue throughout the decade.
As we attempt to ‘build back greener’ there will be a huge number of jobs focusing on the transition to zero-carbon, from retrofitting homes to building major energy projects and alternative transport systems. Addressing the current skills shortages in these areas will be key but the potential for green construction jobs is huge.
The rapidly increasing use of digitalisation within the construction sector will be a boost to IT & Digital jobs in Construction, too.
Cloud-based software is improving workflow efficiency, drones are enabling safer, more accessible site visits with a higher level of accuracy, and some firms are investing in robotics to boost manpower. 3D printing, AR/VR technology, BIM technology, smart applications, big data, the list of digital trends in the Construction industry is huge and growing.
All of these technological tools must be operated and maintained by humans, providing another boost to construction jobs.
The pandemic may have shrunk some construction markets, for example, city centre shopping areas and office buildings, but it has boosted others. As people strengthen their desire for greener living with more space, there has been a rise in demand for homes in rural areas.
The boom in online shopping, forecast to be an ongoing trend, has created the need for more warehouses. Respondents in the IHS Markit survey spoke of huge demand for residential building and commercial projects brought about by the reopening of the UK economy.
House building projects rose at the fastest pace since 2003 and commercial work hasn’t grown so quickly since 1998. Civil engineering work also rose sharply, though experienced slower growth than in the previous two months.
Supply chain issues, largely arising from severe delays with shipping and haulage, particularly for products sourced from within the EU but also from the Suez blockage back in March (a hold-up which resulted in billions of dollars lost each day), has hampered growth.
The resultant rises in construction products and materials prices will also continue to affect the industry, as will labour availability.
All of this could slow progress and is certainly something all in the industry are keeping their eyes on, but overall the outlook is extremely positive for the Construction industry. For those searching for jobs within it, there has never been a better time.
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