This month marks one year since Covid-19 changed the construction industry, and the world, forever. Boston was amount the first metro areas to issue a stop work order, others were soon to follow. This resulted in a huge dip in production for the industry. The charts show a drastic drop in not only construction employment, but demand for construction in general.
Another metric to look at is the Architectural Billing Index. You can really see the effect of Covid-19 on this metric as well. If construction employment and architectural billing plummeted, one metric that did rise was material costs. Employee absences due to illness greatly disrupted transportation and distribution of materials, making accurate estimates in the construction project realm difficult to nail down. With materials fluctuating, this caused a whole new problem for construction lenders.
The good news is, all of these metrics are beginning to return to their pre-Covid-19 levels. As talk of vaccines strengthened, contractor confidence and construction employment steadily begin to rise. While architectural billing is still not quite up to pre-pandemic numbers, it does should a steady increase of the last few months, which can only be a positive sign that the industry will be picking up. Some analysists predict that construct may greatly increase to make up for the lag of last year.