CCI: Most Contractors are Experiencing Project Delays Due to the Pandemic

The majority of contractors are currently experiencing delays on some projects due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s according to the Q3 2020 Commercial Construction Index (CCI), released quarterly by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Dodge Data & Analytics, which included a quarterly spotlight focused on the impact of COVID-19. While 85% of contractors are experiencing project delays, that percentage is down slightly from 87% in Q2 2020.

Most contractors (83%) expect delays to continue into fall while 71% expect delays to continue into early 2021. However, the average amount of delays has decreased sharply as the year continues. In July, contractors reported an average share of 26% of their projects were delayed, down from 40% in April as the pandemic was reaching its height. In April, 39% of contractors reported that over half of their projects were delayed, whereas in July, only 19% of contractors said the same.

Looking ahead to the next three months, the percentage of contractors expecting more than half of their projects to be delayed falls to 16%. In the next three months, the average share of delayed projects drops to 26% and, in the next six months, the average share of projects on which delays are expected drops to 22%.

Contractors were asked which three challenges COVID-19 may present to their business concerned them most. The top concerns are:
• Worker health and safety, 70% of contractors;
• More project shutdowns/delays, 60% of contractors; and
• Having fewer projects, 38% of contractors.

Contractors also were asked what changes their company has made in response to the pandemic. Ninety-seven percent of contractors reported making changes in response to the COVID-19 crisis this quarter. Those changes include:
• Provided items to protect employee health, such as masks and sanitizer, 82% of contractors;
• Changed work procedures to increase social distancing, 75% of contractors; and
• Allowed remote work for office employees, 67% of contractors.

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