Economic forecasters predict a slowdown in the construction industry. However, this does not seem to apply to Ohio’s metropolitan area. Our buckeye state is experiencing a construction boom with more than $4 billion in new starts (this year) including nonresidential, residential, and public works projects. According to the president of the Central Ohio chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Columbus area has become the place to do business. So, in order to accommodate the influx of residents, construction companies are hard at work. U.S. Bridge is an Ohio native bridge company. Our mission is to serve communities by engineering and manufacturing steel bridges.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Throughout 2019, Ohio saw an increase in starts. Between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2018, the population of Columbus grew by 13.1%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In 2019, nonresidential starts were at $2.6 billion – an increase of 38% from the same period in 2018
- During 2019, residential starts were valued at $1.4 billion – an increase of 6% from 2018
- Combined, these numbers amount to a 25% surge in new starts
The numbers are a telling indicator of the need for construction. In fact, at least 300 new projects are in the works for this busy metropolitan area. The modern job market is attracting more and more people, which demands ongoing construction. This includes the healthcare projects and further construction labor taking place at Ohio State University. Additionally, the dollar value of new starts has circled the total for the years of 2008 through 2014! Columbus is experiencing both a population and construction boom that is expected to continue at a quick rate.
Skilled Laborer Shortage
The continuous increase in the city’s population has brought upon a serious issue. There aren’t enough skilled trade laborers to take on the challenge. This inadequacy is driving an increase in project costs and completion times. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, the data released from their new survey claims that Ohio construction firms are expecting the construction boom to continue; 90% of companies report that they plan to hire additional workers throughout 2019. However, 88% of that population expect the hiring process to be a challenge. Unfortunately, this has become an issue of qualified workers on top of the existing shortage. Studies show that over one-third of firms agree that a lack of qualified talent is hindering the successful and timely completion of construction projects.
Solutions to Combat this Issue
33% of Ohio state respondents say they are using methods to reduce on-site work time. This includes:
- Lean construction practices
- Off-site prefabrication
- Use of drones, robots, and 3D printers
Columbus Construction Boom
While the issue of worker shortage remains, construction in Columbus continues to attract new and existing citizens. So much so, companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook are also participating in the construction boom by extending their headquarters to the Ohio metropolitan area. The city has become known as a modern technology hub, attracting wide groups, especially millennials.
U.S. Bridge Can Assist
U.S. Bridge believes in thoroughly investing in America’s infrastructure. We help to make transportation possible with our durable quality bridges. With 10,000+ completed projects and 80 years of combined construction experience, U.S. Bridge will help make your project a success. In busy cities, like Columbus, that demand the possibility for easy transportation, our bridges serve communities both local and global. Get a quote today to start your next project today.