ARLINGTON, VA. — Seventy-five per cent of U.S. construction firms plan to expand their payrolls in 2018 as contractors are optimistic economic conditions will remain strong, according to survey results released recently by the Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate.
“Construction firms appear to be very optimistic about 2018 as they expect demand for all types of construction services to continue to expand,” said Stephen Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer in a release.
“This optimism is likely based on current economic conditions, an increasingly business-friendly regulatory environment and expectations the Trump administration will boost infrastructure investments.”
The net positive reading for all types of construction is 44 per cent, the highest yet recorded in the association’s outlook survey series.
Broken down by market segment, contractors nationwide are most optimistic about the private office market segment, with a 22 per cent net positive reading, the release indicated.
This is followed by the other transportation and retail, warehouse and lodging segments, both of which had a 21 per cent net positive reading.
Water and sewer construction had a net positive reading of 20 per cent, K-12 construction had a net positive reading of 18 per cent and highway and hospitality construction both had a 17 per cent net positive reading.
Respondents were slightly less optimistic about growing demand in other segments, the release indicated.
There is a 16 per cent net positive reading for both multifamily residential and public building segments, followed by a 13 per cent net positive reading for power construction, an 11 per cent net positive for higher education construction and an eight per cent net positive for federal construction.
Association officials noted 75 per cent of firms say they will increase their headcount in 2018, up slightly from 73 per cent last year.
The survey noted, however, that most of the hiring will only expand headcounts by a slight percentage per firm. Half of firms report their expansion plans will only increase the size of their firm by 10 per cent or less.