Employment and Tech Grow in the Construction Industry

Here’s the good news: over the past year, 297,000 jobs have been added to the construction industry in America alone. That marks a 10-year high! The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) reports that the industry continues to add workers and increase wages at greater rates than the economy at large. Average industry earnings have reached $29.95 per hour, which is 10.3 percent higher than the average for all nonfarm private-sector jobs, and the unemployment rate (3.4 percent) is at an all-time low.

Job outlook for the industry beams positive. The demand for construction continues to rise, even as eighty percent of contractors report difficulties in finding skilled workers to fill open positions. But wages and job demand aren’t the only observable growths within the construction industry. Various uses of technology are also on the rise.

The introduction of advanced technology, such as drones and 3D printing, has opened new opportunities and increased efficiency across the construction industry.

Earlier this year, we looked at how electricians use drones to spark new Fourth of July traditions. Well, these air-bound solutions are also making their way onto construction sites. According to a report conducted by Skyward, a drone operations management platform, 35 percent of construction and engineering businesses have adopted drone usage, with this number expected to grow year-over-year.

Drones can serve multiple purposes in the day to day operations of a construction crew, so it’s no wonder their use is on the rise. When flown above jobsites, drones provide tradespeople with a unique bird’s-eye view, making surveying and inspections easier. Their sky-high perspective enables professionals to efficiently monitor project progress, needed maintenance and safety risks of even the tallest, most widespread buildouts.

In comparison, though complete adoption is far off, artificial intelligence has also been recognized as a possible solution to common jobsite challenges. From providing realistic training scenarios to predicting equipment failures, AI has the potential, and the smarts, to change the way tradespeople get the job done in the near future.

Advanced technology can not only open a world of opportunities to our daily lives but also to the literal building blocks of our communities. This last tech development has recently led to the world’s first 3D-printed, concrete barracks. 3D printing offers professionals unmatched flexibility because of its simple designs, low cost and ease of use.

All it takes is access to a field printer, concrete building materials and a computer, and in almost no time, crews can build, no print, any structure. Okay, it’s not that simple. There’s still a lot to learn about how this technology can be best incorporated into the world’s infrastructure. While for now we’re talking about concrete constructions, in the future, 3D printing may even find use on the moon to make buildings out of local materials.

New technological developments, not to mention the growth of “green” alternatives, continue to drive innovation, and job demand, within the trades. Klein Tools proudly supports the professionals who get the job done right day in and day out. We’re glad to stand up to the demands of the industry’s evolution generation after generation, for more than 160 years.

How have you seen the construction industry grow or change over the years? Share your experiences with us on social media.