Constructor - March/April 2014 - (Page 11)
Look Up and Not Down
AS AN ETERNAL OPTIMIST, I'm always searching for a glimmer (of hope), a light (at the
end of the tunnel), a silver lining (in the dark cloud). It may sound like a nice outlook,
but it's not always an easy one. Have you ever started your work week enthusiastic and
zealous, only to be beaten down by obstacles? By Thursday, you're dragging yourself into
the ofﬁce and counting the minutes until Friday night's happy hour. Sometimes despite
your best intentions, you ﬁ nd yourself looking down and not up.
BY JEANIE J. CLAPP
That's why I was encouraged, as I'm sure you were, upon hearing results of AGC of
America's survey, ﬁ nalized earlier this year, revealing a positive construction outlook
for 2014. It's time to look up and not down. More than 800 construction professionals
participated - folks like you who monitor the bottom line and watch business trends
from the front row. Contractors whose words and actions have weight say the year
ahead looks promising.
Optimism Returns: The 2014 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook is the report
AGC released in January that summarizes the ﬁ ndings of the survey. It's interesting to
note that for the ﬁ rst time since 2008, when the association began conducting its business outlook survey, a signiﬁcant number of respondents - 36 percent - believe the
construction market will grow this year. Furthermore, an additional 32 percent expect
it to grow in 2015. How's that for looking up and not down?
But the encouraging news doesn't stop there. Most contractors predict demand will
either grow or remain stable in 10 out of the 11 market segments covered by the report.
Many ﬁ rms plan to begin hiring in 2014 too, while relatively few plan to start making
layoffs. This silver lining, however, surrounds the dark cloud that is the workforce shortage, which weighs heavily on contractors' minds. Nearly two-thirds of ﬁ rms expect it will
either become harder or remain as difﬁcult to ﬁ nd qualiﬁed construction professionals
during the next year. I invite you to read the entire report online: http://bit.ly/LCOs2l. In
addition, you can access the survey results, including state-speciﬁc data and regional
ﬁ ndings. And, AGC's chief economist, Ken Simonson, provides an informative analysis
of the survey in this issue of Constructor, which can be found on Page 29.
The industry still faces challenges and obstacles ahead, but optimism reigns. There's
an encouraging glimmer (of hope), a bright light (at the end of the tunnel) and a shimmering silver lining (around the dark cloud). Let's take the lead and start looking up and
Have a story idea or information you'd like to share with AGC members?
Contact me at email@example.com. Look for web exclusives on
www.constructormagazine.com and follow Constructor on Twitter @ConstructorMag.
MA R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 4 | www.constructormagazine.com 11
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - March/April 2014
Water Resources Development Act Addresses Critical Infrastructure Needs
Legislative and Regulatory News
Can-Do Attitude Meets a Job Well Done
The Mobile Gold Rush
Index to Advertisers
Constructor - March/April 2014