Signed into law on Nov. 15, the new infrastructure bipartisan package possesses a price tag that includes $550 billion in new spending for the next 5 years.
Following the announcement, construction-related stocks outperformed the market. AECOM, Vulcan, and Nucor were just a few of the top picks. Alabama’s Vulcan Materials is one of the largest gravel, sand, and stone producers in the U.S, which would explain the 3% rise in the stock market since the infrastructure bill contemplates new roads and bridges. AECOM, the multinational engineering firm, benefits from almost every line item there is in the infrastructure bill. Caterpillar, Construction machinery and equipment company also jumped to almost 4%. The record high reflects the excitement over the infrastructure bill and its impactful ways to boost the economy for the industry.
Opportunities emerge as a result of the infrastructure bill, the industry reflects an all-record high desperate need for skilled workers, this is a decade-long struggle for contractors who are already offering wages higher than the median U.S salary. With the bill already signed into law, the demand for skilled workers is set to increase in the next 3 years to almost 2.2 Million workers required in the industry. Back in July of this year, Anirban Basu, chief economist for Associated Builders and Contractors, stated a handful of solutions that could be implemented as of now in order to expand the worker’s demographic and attracts the younger generations into construction.
The new infrastructure bill should open some opportunities for higher-paying careers in the construction industry. Additionally, there will most likely be new jobs created that don’t currently exist today. The Bill includes a few non-traditional infrastructure upgrades such as $65 billion for broadband/Internet which is likely to attract younger generations into joining the workforce.
The bill could lead to a supply chain normalcy, some experts remain skeptical, stating that the bill is just an excuse to solve specific interests and does not focus on the actual supply chain bottlenecks. Material shortages lead to inflation and develop a gloomy cycle for construction and supply chain. Freight companies complain about the lack of ports and warehouses, which cannot be expanded or relocated due to construction material shortages, not to mention the housing inflation and lumber shortage the industry underwent this year.
"Roads and bridges are not political—we all drive on them" Chris Spear, president, and CEO of American Trucking Associations
Only time will tell if the bill will positively impact the supply chain disruptions, but fixing the supply chain infrastructure can only lead to an improved transportation capacity.
"Passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill creates an opportunity to effectively modernize our nation's most critical infrastructure, and ABC and our members stand ready to do the important work to bring America's infrastructure into the 21st century." Michael Bellaman, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) President and CEO
All-in-all what you can perceive from our industry is excitement, the bill reflects an opportunity for every sector in construction. It seems like despite facing a handful of challenges, all at the same time, our industry is determined to overcome every single one of them - after all, the road to success is always under construction.
Andrea Scott - VP of Client Success at TheoBuild