AGC Economic Update

RR051220 Simonson

May 12, 2020 – According to Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America’s Economist Ken Simonson, construction technology firm Procore released an analysis of the decline in construction work hours since March 1 by week, state, project type and contractor revenue size, based on hours tracked by Procore clients. Hours totaled 14.0 million (representing roughly 400,000 employees) during the week of March 1. The data shows worker hours have decreased 13% since the week of March 1st and held flat since the last [shelter-in-place] ordinances. As of the week of April 26, the change in hours relative to the March 1 week ranged from -69% in Michigan (a state with some of the earliest and strictest shutdown orders) to +19% in Montana (possibly reflecting seasonal weather patterns as well as government or project owners’ decisions). The numbers reveal that small businesses saw a greater decline in worker hours [-19% as of the April 26 week] than enterprise [-13%] or mid-sized [-12%] companies. In contrast to the BLS data, transportation and energy projects had a steeper decline in hours than healthcare or non-infrastructure projects. According to Simonson, the construction slum is much lighter for heavy and civil engineering firms, possibly indicating more work for highway, airport and utility projects than building projects.

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