The Northwest building market remains strong, say industry leaders, as construction employment in Oregon, Alaska and Washington continues to grow, according to the Associated General Contractors.
Washington recorded positive gains in construction employment with an increase of 11,100 jobs, or 5.6%, between April 2017 and April 2018 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Oregon saw an increase of 6,000 jobs, or 6.3%, over last year. Alaska added 700 jobs over the same period, or 4.6%.
Metro areas continue to see strong labor demand amid shortages of qualified workers, association officials say. Construction employment in the Seattle metro area (including Bellevue and Everett) added about 5,000 construction jobs between April 2017 and April 2018, while the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metro area in Oregon added 1,500 jobs over the same period.
“The economy is so strong here in the Northwest,” says Dan Absher, president of Absher Construction Co. “What’s unusual about this economic boom is that it seems to be hitting on all sectors. They haven’t been this strong at the same time.”
The Puyallup, Wash.-based firm ranks No. 11 on ENR Northwest’s Top Contractors list, with $219 million in regional revenue in 2017. The firm’s current Northwest projects include the Tacoma Convention Center/Marriott Hotel as well as the N160 Northgate Station project for Sound Transit with Granite Construction.
Topping the survey is Skanska USA with $1.46 billion in regional revenue. The firm’s current projects include the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seattle high-rises 1200 Howell and 2+U.
Skanska’s transportation and infrastructure work has been especially robust in the Northwest, says Jim Link, the company’s regional executive officer of USA Building. “We expect those sectors to remain strong for at least the next five years.”
Link also points to the higher education, health care and semiconductor markets as well as work for large service companies. “Hospitality and aviation has been particularly active for us in the past year in the Northwest.”
This year, the top 25 general contractors and construction managers featured in ENR Northwest’s Top Contractors survey together reported about $6.4 billion in revenue in 2017 from Oregon, Alaska and Washington.
As always, the survey ranks firms based upon revenue from the previous calendar year. Along with revenue, the main ranking includes other information about each firm, such as top markets and recent contracts. Breakout lists rank firms based upon state and specialty market sector revenue.
ENR Northwest invites its readers to review this year’s Top Contractors rankings, including more than 10 breakout charts based on value of work, states and industry sector.