Construction Industry Trends for 2024


As we continue into 2024, the construction industry, including the electrical contracting sector, persists to evolve, shaped by a confluence of factors that are restructuring the way projects are planned, executed, and completed. In this dynamic landscape, several key trends are emerging, reflecting the industry’s commitment to sustainability, technological innovation, safety, and adaptability in the face of market uncertainties. Let’s explore the critical themes driving the construction industry forward in 2024. 

  1. Commitment to Sustainability and Efficiency

Sustainability has become a vital component of the construction industry, and in 2024, this commitment is more pronounced than ever. Construction companies are adopting eco-friendly practices, incorporating green building materials and implementing technologies such as energy-efficient lighting systems and renewable energy solutions to reduce their environmental footprint. The push toward sustainable construction is not just about meeting regulatory requirements but is increasingly seen as a strategic business imperative. Clients are demanding environmentally responsible projects, and industry players are responding by integrating sustainable practices from design to completion. 

  1. Advancement in AI and Technological Innovations

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced technologies is transforming the construction sector. From autonomous construction equipment to Building Information Modeling (BIM), and augmented reality, technology is enhancing project efficiency and accuracy. AI algorithms optimize project scheduling, resource allocation, and risk management, enabling contractors to make data-driven decisions. Drones and sensors are being utilized for site surveys and monitoring, providing real-time data to improve project visibility. This also can be seen as a huge opportunity for electrical contractors as they are not just installing the systems, they’re leveraging cutting-edge technology for precision and client satisfaction. 

  1. Continued Labor Shortages

One of the persistent challenges facing the construction industry is the shortage of skilled labor. In 2024, this issue continues to shape industry dynamics, driving companies to explore innovative solutions. The adoption of automation and robotics is on the rise, as construction firms seek to augment their workforce with technology. Collaborative efforts between industry stakeholders, educational institutions, and governments also are being intensified to address the skills gap by promoting vocational training and attracting new talent to the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects, there are about 73,500 openings for electricians each year, on average, over the decade. The employment of electricians is projected to grow six percent from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than average for all occupations. Many of these openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. As the industry navigates this labor shortage, the importance of skilled workers and technology working hand in hand becomes increasingly evident. 

According to Associated Builders and Contractors, “The industry will need to attract about 501,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2024 to meet the demand for labor.” John Morris, president and CEO of the Northern California Associated Builders and Contractors, describes the labor shortage as more of a productivity challenge than a labor challenge — while the industry recovered the lost workers from COVID, compensation increased for workers that don’t have the necessary skills due to inflation. This illuminates the importance of training and retaining employees. 

  1. Emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion 

In 2024, diversity is gaining recognition as a crucial element in the construction industry. Construction companies are increasingly recognizing the value of having a variety of perspectives and are actively working toward fostering inclusive workplaces. This extends to diverse hiring practices, ensuring that the workforce reflects a broad range of backgrounds, experiences, and skills. Diversity not only contributes to a more vibrant and innovative industry but also addresses the pressing need for skilled labor by tapping into a wider talent pool. 

  1. Increasing Safety Measures

Safety remains a top priority in electrical contracting, with a focus on leveraging technology for improved safety measures. Wearable tech, AI analytics for hazard detection, and immersive training through VR/AR contribute to a safer work environment. The sector’s commitment to safety extends beyond compliance, aiming for a culture that prioritizes the well-being of every team member.  

  1. Elevated Market Uncertainties

The construction industry has always been sensitive to economic fluctuations, and in 2024, market uncertainties will continue to influence decision-making. Factors such as geopolitical tensions, inflation, high interest rates, the upcoming election, unionization, and supply chain disruptions contribute to an environment of unpredictability. Construction materials have risen 33 percent  since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic levels but are forecasted to rise slightly between 2-6 percent. Electrical contracting firms and other businesses in the construction industry are adopting agile business models, diversifying their portfolios and leveraging technology to mitigate risks. The ability to adapt to changing market conditions is becoming a key differentiator for success in the construction industry of 2024. 

  1. Diversification with Both Public and Private Project Types

In response to market uncertainties, construction firms are diversifying their project portfolios to include both public and private sector projects. While public projects provide a sense of stability with government funding, private projects offer greater flexibility and innovation. Striking a balance between the two allows construction companies to manage risks effectively and capitalize on diverse revenue streams. The ability to navigate the intricacies of both public and private projects positions companies for long-term success in a dynamic market. 

  1. Unprecedented Federal Spending Coming to Fruition

Federal spending on infrastructure projects through the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a significant driver of the construction industry and presents significant opportunities for electrical contractors. Governments are allocating substantial budgets to upgrade aging infrastructure, enhance transportation networks, and invest in smart city initiatives. The influx of federal funds presents opportunities for construction companies to secure large-scale projects, but it also requires them to adhere to stringent regulations and compliance standards. Successful firms will be those that can efficiently leverage federal spending while maintaining transparency and accountability in their operations. 

As electrical contractors navigate these trends, the ability to adapt and embrace change becomes a key determinant of success. By staying attuned to these evolving dynamics and leveraging the opportunities they present, the construction industry is poised to build a resilient, innovative, and inclusive future. 

John Meibers is the vice president & general manager of Deltek ComputerEase, the leading provider of accounting, project management, and field-to-office software for the construction industry. Prior to joining ComputerEase 22 years ago, John spent a decade working for a large mechanical contractor.