Smaller construction firms have been more likely than larger firms to keep their staffs intact throughout the Covid-19 outbreak and economic shutdown.
So reveals a new survey published by the Associated General Contractors of America in conjunction with the software company Autodesk.
Based on responses to a questionnaire, the survey indicates that 44% of construction firms with revenue in excess of $500 million have either terminated or furloughed employees this year.
The number, at 47%, was higher for firms in the $50 million to $500 million range.
But the number of terminated or furloughed employees at construction firms posting annual revenues of $50 million or less came in at only 31%.
The survey also showed that both Arizona and Colorado construction companies had higher rates of terminating and furloughing workers, at 40% and 38% respectively, compared to a national average of 29%.
Texas firms saw 27% of their workers either terminated or furloughed. There were no numbers for companies based in New Mexico.
Concurrently, some 72% of companies in Arizona also said they were finding it difficult to find carpenters and equipment operators, with a majority of companies in Colorado, meanwhile, saying they were having a tough time finding carpenters and concrete workers.
In Texas, positions for equipment operators and concrete workers have proven the hardest to fill.
While a large number of responding companies said they thought they had endured the pandemic economic downturn as well as can be expected, a significant percentage said that although they expected to eventually see a return to a pre-pandemic economy, most thought it won’t happen overnight.
In a statement, Ken Simonson, chief economist with the AGC, observed: “These employment numbers are in line with our survey which found a plurality of construction firms expect it will take more than six months before their volume of business matches year-ago levels.”
By Garry Boulard
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