As we enter into a busy season, it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date on industry news and trends. To make things easier, we’re bringing you the top headlines you should know.
Earlier in the year, we reported on the construction forecast for 2016, where experts predicted continued growth in the industry. As we reach the middle of year, we can begin to see new trends in construction starts and job growth, as well as some new safety regulations to incorporate into your daily routine. Here are a few of the top headlines you should know.
Construction Job Openings Hit High
According to Builder, construction job openings have reached a 108-month high as of March 2016. The study, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, says the number of job openings were steady at 5.8 Million.
This data means that jobs are available and the industry continues to grow. However, the concern of skilled worker growth remains. As industry pros strive for success, many find it difficult to hire for open positions because as older workers are leaving the workforce, a new generation of workers is shying away from the construction industry. See more about What You Should Know About The Skilled Labor Shortage.
2016 Predicted to Be the Best Year for Construction
With many growth factors in play, experts and economists are predicting 2016 to be the best year for construction growth in a decade, according to Construction Dive.
The article explains this will be the first year that single-family homes will have higher growth than multifamily, and can expect to see single-family home starts up 19% in 2017. Pros should be ready for steady business as the industry continues to grow. This follows an overall construction forecast at the beginning of the year that predicted strong growth in 2016, with the highest area of growth in residential construction.
One of the causes could be due to the turnaround of the housing market. With more affordability of home prices and more millennials looking to move out of rentals and into homes, pros are beginning to see a rise in residential homebuilding starts and remodeling.
April Single-Family Starts Steadily Rise
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released data on new residential construction for April 2016, reporting that single-family housing starts were 3.3% above the predicted 753,00 starts predicted from March 2016 data. Additionally, building permits are on the rise as well, with authorizations up 1.5% from March for single-family housing.
This data tells us that business is growing steadily. As the summer season hits, we expect these numbers to rise! Here are a few tips to keep in mind as business improves:
- To earn the job and more loyal customers, take the time to listen to their needs. You may be rushing to your next appointment, but always give each of your customers the time required to do the best job possible.
- As things get busier, it’s important to stay organized. Keep track of your leads by updating your CraftJack Lead Manager.
- Practice time-management techniques. Take 15 minutes at the end of your day to review your schedule and projects for the next day. This will help you feel more focused at the beginning of your day and ensure you don’t miss a thing.
- Make sure your website is updated with current contact information, recent projects and other information the potential customer might want to know about. The easier it is for the customer to find the needed information on you and your business, the more likely you are to win the job.
OSHA Explains Confined Space Standards
If you’re a pro whose work tends to be in small spaces, like crawlspaces or manholes, you’re fully aware of the hazards they present. Though the standard went into effect August 2015, there was not a clear explanation until recently. In May 2016, The Journal of Light Construction shared what pros need to know about the new standard.
To highlight a few of the new regulations, the OSHA Confined Space standard says employers must demonstrate that the area has forced air veneration and is tested for air quality safety for before workers enter. Additionally, if there is an emergency, workers have a safe place to exit the space. All employers must provide a safe route to safely enter and exit a confined space.
As a pro, safety of yourself and workers should be top priority. In a small, confined space, safety hazards are amplified and workers must be aware of their surroundings. Educate yourself on these new standards and make them a part of your daily procedures.
Construction starts are on the rise and the outlook is positive for the rest of the year. With these trends in mind, evaluate the projects you’re currently working on and see where a few of these data points are relevant in your own work. As always, take a look at the new nationwide standards and guidelines that are announced and put them into action right away, as it’s best for your company and can help avoid unnecessary fines.
Looking to refresh yourself on other top headlines from 2016? Check out Industry News: April 2016 to see headlines from earlier this year.