Dallas construction Sector Rebounding From Pandemic
North Texas construction activity is rebounding after a sharp downturn during the pandemic. Dallas is one of only two major metro areas where construction activity has already rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, according to a new survey by the Associated General Contractors of America.
The construction industry trade group looked at major markets around the country to gauge construction activity at the end of May. Among the eight largest markets, Dallas had the biggest rebound in construction — up 15% as of May 31, according to data gathered by Procore Technologies, a construction software firm.
“Construction activity has returned to pre-coronavirus levels in 34 states, based on data on workers’ hours analyzed by Procore,” the trade group’s report says. “And construction has returned to pre-coronavirus levels in Dallas and Miami, according to Procore’s data on eight large metro areas.”
Building starts ground to a halt in many areas of the country as the COVID-19 outbreak took hold.
Starting in mid-March, construction worker hours were down more than 10% in Texas. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, commercial building activity dropped about 40% in May compared with a year earlier.
More than 60% of construction firms interviewed for the industry survey said they had had at least one project halted or canceled because of the pandemic.
And 25% of construction firms said they had experienced building materials shortages that are causing delays on current projects.
“Many of the immediate economic impacts of the coronavirus have passed and, as a result, activity and hiring are up a bit,” Ken Simonson, the general contractors association’s chief economist, said in the new report. “But while the immediate crisis appears to have passed, we are just now beginning to appreciate some of the longer-term impacts of the pandemic on the industry.”
More than 20% of construction firms said they added employees in June after one in four companies reported letting workers go between March and May.
“But it is important to remember that construction activity typically increases quite a bit between March 1 and the end of May as the weather improves and more work gets underway,” Simonson said. “Getting to March 1 levels is a sign of progress, but it doesn’t mean things are back to normal.”
More than 40% of U.S. construction firms said they do not expect demand to recover to normal levels for at least four months — with most saying it will take longer than six months...