Construction Productivity Stats Approach Precoronavirus Levels

Dive Brief:

  • Statistics are indicating construction work may be approaching precoronavirus numbers, according to data collected by Procore and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
  • Using worker hours to measure construction activity during the pandemic and related government shutdown orders, Procore found that recent numbers are comparable, or in some cases higher, than those on March 1, the last week before shutdowns began. 
  • The majority of states and cities are seeing this change, which AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson said could also be attributed to the warmer weather increasing the seasonal demand of construction work.

Dive Insight:

The data seemed to directly correlate with the shutdowns, Kristopher Lengieza, senior director of business development for Procore, said during a press conference Thursday. States that had few or no restrictions on shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders saw smaller drops in construction worker hours since March, and returned to normalcy faster.

At the same time, states greatly impacted by the coronavirus had more severe shutdowns, which led to the biggest drops in construction activity or worker hours, Lengieza said.

“The commercial construction industry has dealt with several tumultuous months,” said Simonson, adding that while the industry has been able to continue, it has not been immune to the effects of the virus.

New York City had it the worst, Procore found, with worker hours dropping to 88% lower than pre-pandemic numbers the week of April 5. New York City’s numbers as of the week of May 31 were still down 43%.

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