In early July, Dodge Data & Analytics partnered with Infotech, Leica Geosystems, Command Alkon, and Digital Construction Works to release The Civil Quarterly - the first-ever regular report on the infrastructure sector of the US construction market. The report seeks to uncover insights from civil contractors and engineering consultants on how, why, and where they’re making investments to grow and strengthen their operations.
The information in The Civil Quarterly is structured to help decision-makers and project stakeholders make informed, data-backed decisions to lead the industry forward. In the first edition of the report, you’ll find quantitative and qualitative reports on workforce trends, new tech adoption, and jobsite safety during the ongoing pandemic. Keep reading for a preview of these insights - or download the full report here.
Evolving Workforce Trends
Stat: 40% of contractors report a high need to hire more skilled workers in the next three months.
Despite the pandemic, construction has not experienced a significant slowdown - in fact, in some areas, it’s been expedited. As such, nearly have of contractors surveyed expect to be in high demand for skilled workers over the next three months. This expectation could also be due to other factors affecting workforce size and efficiency, such as workers falling ill and requiring quarantine during an ongoing project.
Stat: 60% of contractors report a high degree of difficulty in finding skilled workers.
Contractors need to hire more skilled workers - but are having trouble finding them. This data point falls in line with the skilled labor shortage that continues to plague the construction industry. In 2019, the US Department of Labor reported that the US economy had 7.6 million unfilled jobs, but only 6.5 million people seeking employment. Many industry leaders have called for an increase in trade schools and on-the-job training to bolster the workforce.
Emerging Jobsite Technologies
Stat: 51% of contractors are using drones at the jobsite, with an additional 17% considering the use of drones.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, drones were without a doubt the most popular emerging technology used by the contractors surveyed in the report. Drone use in construction has been rising for several years, with aerial progress tracking and jobsite mapping at the forefront of use. Interestingly, while drones are the most popular rising technology in the report, civil contractors reported that they only use drones on 36% of their projects.
Stat: 24% of contractors are using e-Ticketing software, with an additional 23% considering the use of e-Ticketing software.
e-Ticketing, or electronic proof of delivery, has been a popular way for construction companies to embrace e-Construction. While only a quarter of contractors surveyed are using this technology, interest in e-Ticketing is rising as contractors try to find ways to minimize contact on the jobsite with the term “touchless ticketing” increasing in popularity. e-Ticketing is one of the most prolific technologies for those who use the software, with usage on 54% of applicable projects.
Increasing Safety Investments
Stat: 64% of contractors expect their investments in safety to increase in the next two years.
On its surface, this stat about worker safety seems directly related to protecting workers from infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, 63% of contractors also stated that safety was a top priority in the past two years. Paired together, these stats suggest that safety is playing an increasingly essential role in contractors’ investment priorities, regardless of the virus epidemic.
Stat: 47% of contractors use technology to track safety data across projects.
Despite the central focus on improving worker safety, less than half of contractors are currently using safety management systems or tracking safety conditions in their jobsites. As investments in safety are expected to grow, we may see this number rise as more project owners make use of digital tools to protect worker safety.
It’s one thing to see these trends laid out in facts and figures - it’s another to hear about it directly from a project owner. The Civil Quarterly’s “Voices of the Industry” segment paints a clearer picture of the users behind the data, while “A Closer Look” takes an empathetic look at the impact of COVID-19 on civil construction. Read interviews, insights, and more by downloading the full report.
If you’re interested in an exclusive partnership to help guide and inform the investigative focus of The Civil Quarterly, the publication is currently looking at potential partners for 2021. Learn more here: https://www.infotechinc.com/civilquarterlypartnership/.