If you have spent time in downtown Boston during the past few years, you’ve surely noticed the towering cranes and scaffolding dotting the skyline. Notably, residential construction starts in Boston rose 90% in the month of January to $487.8 million in projects, compared to $257.2 million the year prior. Meanwhile, nonresidential construction starts rose 18 percent to $354.5 million in projects, up from $299.4 million the year before.
As Senior Vice President at Gilbane Building Company, I can tell you that building activity trends in Boston will continue on an impressive trajectory for many years to come. However, growth in these areas in 2014 and 2015 has already resulted in labor shortages in the building professions. Finding skilled workers, sufficiently trained and eager to learn, can be challenging, and without them the growth will not be captured.
Finding skilled workers, sufficiently trained and eager to learn, can be challenging, and without them the growth will not be captured.
According to Gilbane’s most recent Construction Economics Report, this may end up the most active three-year period (2013-16) of growth in construction in more than 20 years. Construction added one million jobs during 2011-2015, however 800,000 of those jobs were added in just the last three years and construction spending growth for the period 2013-2016 is expected to outpace all previous periods.