Construction Materials, Jobs, and More

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The cost of construction materials and services accelerated again last month according to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

Some contractor’s materials are delayed. Association officials urged the Biden administration to roll back tariffs and quotas on imported construction materials that are adding to costs and availability problems.


Prices for Construction Materials Surge

Construction Materials, Jobs, and MorePrices for materials used in construction have surged in the last year. Items with especially steep price increases over the past year ranged from lumber to metals to plastics.

According to Associated General Contractors of America, lumber and plywood increased 85.7 percent from April 2020 to April 2021. But according to Business Insider, lumber prices rose by more than 250% in the last year. The National Association of Homebuilders said the increases added more than $24,000 to the price of the average single-family home.

Lumber prices surged during the pandemic as mills were forced to close or slow production. Home improvement projects, mill production cuts, and this year’s building season have caused an increased demand for lumber while supply remains low. Some experts predict lumber prices will remain high.

Also, steel products rose 67 percent, copper and brass increased 49 percent and aluminum climbed 20.5 percent. Plastic materials rose 14.2 percent and wallboard is up 12.1 percent from last year.


Pandemic and Policies Woes

AGC officials said some of the supply chain problems have resulted from the pandemic. Federal policies (tariffs and quotas) have exacerbated the price spikes, supply shortages, and delivery delays. The AGC urged the Biden administration to end the import obstacles and explore ways to help uncork supply-chain bottlenecks.


Illinois Construction Jobs Increase

On a brighter note, Illinois construction jobs have seen the biggest increase in the nation, with 4,000 new jobs — according to US Labor Department data compiled by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America.

Nationally, construction employment last month remained below the pre-pandemic high set in February 2020 in 36 states. AGC officials said that the sector’s recovery was being undermined by increases in materials prices, delays in receiving key construction supplies, and labor shortages.

AGC officials said that rapid increases in the cost of construction materials are hammering companies still trying to recover from the pandemic. In addition, many construction companies reported they were having trouble finding workers to hire with school closures, lingering pandemic worries, and elevated unemployment benefits.

Albrite Building has been stable throughout the pandemic and has not seen a decrease with their workers.

If you or your company is looking to hire a stable and reputable construction company in the Western suburbs, contact Albrite Building. We are located at 777 Oakmont Lane, Suite 50, Westmont, Illinois 60559. Contact our office today at 630.655.9436 for a free estimate.