Construction activity continues to increase in the Midwestern commercial real estate sector, according to Heartland Real Estate Business magazine.
Likewise, according to the magazine, construction costs continue to increase while the small pool of skilled workers and unsteady pricing of materials continue to present challenges to general contractors. The construction industry has recovered only 30 percent of the two million jobs lost during the recession. The result of the slow job recovery is an aging labor force with 40 being the average age of tradesmen. In 2008, the average age was 36.
Robert Krause of Omaha’s KSI Construction agrees with the article’s author. He has seen a gradual increase in commercial construction during the last year. He feels material and labor costs are stable, but the labor supply can be an issue.
“At times we need to bid jobs to several subcontractors to find one who has crews available to meet the time schedule on a cost-competitive basis,” he explained. “That’s why you hire a knowledgeable, seasoned general contractor who has the ability to assemble the right team for each job,” he added.