A recent survey conducted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ Construction Sector and highlighted in an Oct. 21 ForConstructionPros.com article noted that construction-related layoffs and furloughs during the COVID pandemic have been largely minimal — especially compared with other industries. Of the companies surveyed, 60% did not lay off any of their workforce, while 74% furloughed none of their workforce. Of those companies that did furlough or lay off employees the numbers were generally less than 10%. The study noted that "these numbers were surprising given the rising unemployment numbers and stagnant economy. The AEM construction sector team anticipated a much higher percentage of furloughed and laid off workforce."
In general, contractors, large or small, have laid off less than 10% of their workforce.
The Takeaway: This is good news for both construction companies and their workforces. Still struggling with challenges to replace skilled workers lost in the mid 2000s recession, it would seem contractors are much more hesitant this time to lose valued workers. Technology is also helping construction HR departments — both allowing workers to more easily transition to new roles or working environments and helping contractors better recruit, onboard and train new employees faster.