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Industry & Trends

The Five Biggest Things That Worry the Construction Industry

A new report identifies the biggest concerns commercial general contractors and construction managers now have.

Business sectors are always keeping their guard up against challenges they face and the construction trade is no different. A new study from QBE North America, the New York-based arm of the Australian insurance company, identifies five specific areas that its new survey of 500 commercial general contractors and construction managers said keep them up at night.

1. Cybersecurity threats: An issue facing virtually every industry today, it was the leading concern for these respondents. They also said it is the area they feel least prepared to deal with and most vulnerable to.

2. Labor shortages: Another area of concern in what is virtually a full employment market, exacerbated by more stringent immigration rules. Respondents also said these shortages are causing them to hire less-skilled workers who may be driving up injury rates and the resulting higher costs of doing business.

3. Cost overruns: Higher costs for materials, often skyrocketing from the time a job is bid until the work is actually being done, was another major concern.

4. High interest rates: Another problem area for many industry sectors, this is especially troubling due to the fact that after decades of low inflation many current builders have never had to face these rates in their business lifetimes.

5. Fear of an economic downturn: A recession has been forecast by the experts for at least the past year and even as it looks like the U.S. economy will not fall into one, it still keeps builders worried, nonetheless.

“The top risks keeping respondents up at night are also the risks they are least prepared for,” said Ryan Powers, senior vice president and head of construction at QBE North America. “Therefore, the findings in the report suggest a gap between awareness of risks and readiness to mitigate them.”

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