GroundBreak Carolinas recently surveyed leaders of design and construction firms to assess their perspectives on the construction economy in North Carolina and South Carolina. The findings are included in the 2021 GroundBreak Carolinas Design and Construction Outlook.
A convergence of factors impacted the construction economy negatively in an unprecedented manner in 2020. COVID-19, social unrest, political turmoil and economic upheaval were among the factors that disrupted the industry.
As we enter 2021, there remains a significant amount of uncertainty and unknowns. Leaders of design and construction firms were generally optimistic about business prospects, but concerns remain about productivity, workforce availability, project activity and cost.
Over 41.4% indicated they expect an improved economy in 2021. 29.8% expect the economy to be the same, 17.7% percent expect the economy to be slightly worse and 11.8% expect it to be significantly worse.
As for the biggest concerns entering 2021, 47.7% percent expect COVID-19 to continue to be the biggest challenge, 41.5% cited political uncertainty, and 40.7% cited the ability to find new talent. Project activity and competitive pressures were cited by 35.3% of respondents.
Change and uncertainty require organizational leadership to be successful. Our survey indicated that leaders expect to invest at least 50% of their time securing new business. Attracting new talent was identified by 45.7% and training and development was cited by 37.5%.
The 2021 GroundBreak Carolinas Design and Construction survey also addressed “What are you most excited about in 2021?”, “What is your biggest concern in 2021?” and “How has COVID-19 impacted your business?” A summary of responses is included in the infographic.