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Few contractors forecast recovery in 2010

Almost 90 percent of contractors say there will be no industry recovery in 2010, according to a forecast released Jan. 20 by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Idaho was no different from the rest of the nation in the survey: Only 7 percent of contractors said they expect the construction market to grow again in 2010, with 60 percent predicting growth in 2011, 7 percent in 2012, and 26 percent even later than that. (See state-level forecasts here [Microsoft Excel file].)

“Unfortunately for the industry and for our economy, this year’s construction outlook is far from positive,” AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr said during a conference call.

Following a year of record layoffs, 60 percent of construction firms around the nation and 73 percent of Idaho firms are uncertain they’ll be able to add staff in 2010.

Federal stimulus money gave work to 31 percent of contractors nationally, but only 20 percent of Idaho contractors reported being awarded at least one stimulus-funded contract. Of those Idaho firms, not one said it added new staff as a result of the stimulus, though 67 percent said it allowed them to retain staff they otherwise would have laid off.

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