Construction Forecasts for 2021

With the challenging year that was 2020 behind us, what does 2021 hold for contractors? The following are a few predictions to help you plan for the new year.

A Slow Recovery

A study by the Dodge reports of 2020 saw a 14% decline in the dollar value of construction starts. With a predicted increase of only 4% in 2021, slow growth is expected into the first quarter of the year. A stimulus package plus the widespread implementation of COVID vaccines by mid-2021 could bring higher than predicted construction starts in the second half of 2021.

Keeping COVID-19 Safe

Even with the arrival of two vaccines and potentially more on the way, owners must keep crews safe from the virus. Keeping workers healthy means continuing to remind staff of COVID mitigation guidelines to battle complacency. Encourage workers to sign up to get the vaccine. A panel of construction lawyers and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined that workers could be required to receive the vaccine with certain exceptions. However, forcing resistant employees to be inoculated will be an issue for companies that make it mandatory in 2021. 

Infrastructure on the Rise

Infrastructure construction projects should increase as the Biden’s Build Back Better program is enacted. The initiative’s multitrillion-dollar infrastructure bill could increase construction in a range of areas, including education, military, and transportation.

Other Areas Show Slow Growth

Dodge research reports that institutional construction grow a mere 1% because of state and local budget deficits. While education is expected to continue its building decline this year, healthcare construction should rise because hospitals will need to improve in-patient bed availability. Industrial construction promises little or no growth in 2021.

Gundlach Champion provides building construction solutions with exceptional quality and value to a diverse range of clients across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Northern Wisconsin. The GCI team brings over 350 years of combined experience to every commercial construction project from new buildings to renovations. To discuss your next project contact us at

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