How COVID-19 Is Impacting the Construction Industry

October 30, 2020

COVID-19 has affected every industry in a myriad of ways, construction included. Here are the biggest impacts we've seen and could potentially see in the construction industry because of the current pandemic. 


When everything in Alberta and the rest of Canada essentially shut down in March due to COVID-19, the construction industry wasn't spared. Unlike in Ontario and Quebec, where the provincial governments initially halted all work at construction sites, those with high-paying construction jobs in Calgary were allowed to keep working as the industry was deemed an essential service right off the bat.

While this helped workers and companies in the short term, some workers voiced their concerns over the lack of COVID-19 protocols that were enacted at job sites in the beginning days of the pandemic. As construction companies raced to comply with the measures put in place by Alberta Health Services in order to keep their worksites open, they saw their productivity decline and new projects put on hold. Let's take a closer look at those two consequences of COVID-19 and the other impacts expected to affect the industry in the future.
 

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How COVID-19 Is Impacting the Construction Industry

Even though the construction industry in Alberta didn't experience a forced shut down like in Ontario and Quebec, the effects of COVID-19 were still felt sharply here. Given the utter unknown element of SARS-CoV-2 in the early days of the pandemic, those with construction jobs in Calgary were understandably worried that continuing to work would put not only their health in jeopardy, but that of their family as well. Here are some of the other impacts COVID-19 has inflicted upon one of the biggest industries in the province.
 

Decline in productivity

With construction companies and contractors scrambling to keep their job sites open by strictly adhering to the health mandates issued by Alberta Health Services, a corresponding lack of productivity was witnessed across the board. Increased hand washing, sign-in requirements, and shift change measures meant sites couldn't operate as efficiently as they used to. All those increased safety measures take time, and for an industry that already takes health and safety extremely seriously, the added COVID-19 measures meant work couldn't get done as quickly as it had before. 

Are you looking for a job in the construction industry? At Matrix Labour Leasing we specialize in helping candidates find plumbing, welding, carpenter, electrician, and short-term labour jobs. Give us a call today to find out how we can help take your career and skills to the next level. 

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Supply chain issues

Disruptions to supply chains because of COVID-19 have also been a hindrance to the productivity of the construction industry. Most structural steel is sourced from Quebec, and with that industry initially shut down entirely due to the pandemic, finding materials was and continues to be a challenge. Especially as the United States starts to see its case counts rise, with many construction materials being sourced from our neighbours south of the border. Being able to find the materials needed to complete major projects is expected to be a difficult task for the foreseeable future.
 

New projects shelved

The appetite for new construction projects has been somewhat quelled due to COVID-19. Given the economic effects the pandemic has brought with it — which are expected to last for another couple of years at least — some projects that were planned have been reevaluated and shelved indefinitely. Some of the most common projects that have been put on hold because of the economic consequences of COVID-19 include those that centre around home renovations and homebuilding, as demand for both is expected to decline. With many people having lost their jobs or been forced to work reduced hours because of the pandemic, consumer weakness is expected to severely impact this segment of the construction industry for some time to come. 

WHO'S STILL HIRING DURING COVID-19

Shrinking margins

The combined effects of reduced productivity and supply chain issues is expected to eat away at the profit margins of construction companies in the near future. Some experts predict the consequences of both will equate to a 10-12 per cent loss, which is essentially the profit and administrative overhead factored into most bids for construction companies and contractors. If both are eaten up, the profit these entities used to make from completing projects could be devoured too. 

While COVID-19 has certainly affected some industries more negatively than others — such as the hospitality and travel sectors —no one industry has been immune to the pandemic's effects. The construction industry included. What remains to be seen is just how much recovery will happen over the next few months, and how quickly things in the industry can return to some semblance of normal.
 

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Tired of dealing with the same old recruitment or staffing agencies Calgary? Give Matrix Labour Leasing a try. We specialize in construction staffing and short-term labour placement, helping our candidates build their skills and take their careers to the next level.

To find out more about how we can help you land your dream job, visit us at Suite 204, 11420 27th Street SE, Calgary, AB, T2Z 3R6. Or you can contact us by calling 1-866-666-9520 or by filling in our online contact form.

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