In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s first year on the books, its billions of construction dollars have been a lifeline for an industry battered by a long economic slump. Firms that snagged ARRA-funded contracts have been able to keep workers or add to workforces. Even so, construction has a jobless rate of nearly 25%. As companies chase ARRA projects, they’re looking for more help from Congress. But neither a jobs bill nor transportation authorization is a sure thing. Illustration by Rafael Ricoy Related Links: Transport Sector Sets Rapid Pace Electricity Programs See Work Start to Surge Water, Cleanup Sectors
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.