The Latest Q2 2021 ReportGet key Q2 industry metrics in our latest index
5 Minute Read
While economic recovery began in Q1 2021, the effects of the ongoing pandemic continue to plague the country.
The Q2 2021 Metrics Index shows contractors still struggling to scale their operations in the face of highly unpredictable conditions. With the rate of COVID rising again at the time of this writing, time will tell whether the upcoming Q3 continues on the gains of Q2.
Backlogs for Specialty, Heavy Highway, and Civil subs increased 20% YoY, with a 20% decrease for GCs
Investment in existing structures and in infrastructure remains high, helped by favorable finance rates. Rates also contribute to the increases we see in the specialty trades and heavy/civil segments:
On the other hand, general contractors saw a 12% decrease in projects in Q2 compared to a year ago. The surplus of office space and decline in brick-and-mortar retail starts have hurt nonresidential general contractors.
Construction hiring trends saw major gains in Q2 2021, up roughly 23% year over year. April saw the biggest increase, 100%, followed by a modest 10% in June 2021.
And there’s reason to be bearish as we go into the second half of 2021: The ongoing impact of the pandemic and lower contract value project starts, plus the large surplus of unfilled positions that is common to most industries, paints a dim picture for contractors looking to recruit skilled labor in the second half of the year.
Note that comparing jobs year-over-year is strongly skewed by the rapid declines, then rapid rebound, in 2020. Overall throughout the construction industry, companies posted an increase of 11,000 jobs in July 2021. The construction sector is still up by 21,000 jobs compared to H1 2020.
The Quarterly Construction Metrics Index is a good way to benchmark and compare your company to your industry peers. Reliable industry metrics are critical to making smart, strategic business decisions—especially in these times of uncertainty and change.