New Survey Sheds Light on Recovering Construction Industry


SOUTHFIELD — The Construction Association of Michigan and Plante Moran have released the results of their 2013-2014 biennial survey, which aims to gauge the current state of the Michigan construction industry, and reflect positive trends within the recovering industry.

“We are seeing cautious optimism in the survey results which mirrors what many of our construction clients are currently experiencing in the field,” said Tom Doyle, leader of the Construction Industry Group at Plante Moran. “Construction leaders realize it could be a long road back, so positive trends need to be considered in light of where the industry was in 2009. Still, there are definite, measurable upticks in the industry and overall, we are confident the survey findings reflect an industry in recovery.”

Key findings from the survey, which queried general contractors; subcontractors; architectural and engineering firms, suppliers; business owners and others related to the commercial construction industry, include:

  • 34 percent of respondents said renovation is providing the greatest amount of work opportunities, compared with 29 percent in 2011.
  • There is a positive trend in larger construction projects, with respondents reporting 31 percent of projects in the next 12-18 months are anticipated to be $1 million or more, an 11 percent increase from 2011.
  • At 16 percent, projects in health/welfare and buildings/hospitals top the list of anticipated work over the next 12-18 months, with 37 percent of respondents anticipating that work will be in new construction.
  • Reflecting the most positive results in many years, 89 percent of respondents anticipate the volume of work will increase or stay the same over the next 12-18 months.
  • For Michigan-based companies working outside of the state, 71 percent anticipate the percentage of work outside the state of Michigan increasing over the next 12-18 months

A notable bright spot is in the labor category, where 53 percent of respondents planned no change in workforce over the next 12-18 months but 42 percent anticipated adding employees. This is a sharp contrast to 2009, when 26 percent of respondents anticipated layoffs.

To read the full report, visit