2021 Year End Essential Trends in 21 Construction Statistics

Get Ready for 2022.

A review of 2021’s Essential Trends in 21 Construction Statistics

2021 was a year of evolution and growth for all industries. Organizations forged new paths in the way they work and build. The construction industry saw promising growth this year in technology and innovation. Firms are increasingly looking to digital transformation, cloud-based collaboration, and AI-driven automation to enhance workflows and processes. They also are increasingly focused on adopting green and sustainable solutions to help create a better future.

Let’s review new research and construction statistics to understand how the situation has changed over the past year and half, and set expectations of what’s to come in 2022:

State of Construction

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change in the wake of new variants and changing policies, the construction industry continues to grow and adapt:

  • Despite high materials prices and Covid variants, construction posts solid growth. The rate of construction starts increased 10% in September. All three major sectors saw improvement: nonresidential building +15%, residential +9%, and nonbuilding +6%. (Dodge Data & Analytics
  • In November, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law. The $1 trillion bipartisan bill will reauthorize funding for federal-aid highway and transportation programs and provide investments for construction projects without increased taxes on construction firms. (ConstructionDive)
  • On November 4, OSHA released a COVID-19 vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard. This standard requires all employers with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccinations and/or regular testing and masking. (Federal Register) *

*   This standard is currently being legally challenged by five states in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Digital Transformation 

As new and exciting construction technology and workflow solutions are developed and implemented, construction workflows and processes are evolving too. These construction statistics show how changes increase productivity and efficiency: 

  • The global construction project management software market was valued at over 1.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $2.25 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 6.2%. (Market.US)

Social distancing protocols accelerated use of online training programs and work practices: 

Rapid digitalization and adoption of new tech to optimize workflows and processes for a more flexible construction industry: 

  • 70% of firms surveyed are “planning, piloting or have adopted some digital workflows and processes recently.” (DCW Connect and Bluebeam)
  • Nearly 50% of firms surveyed say software tools will help simplify and automate processes and improve tracking and increase project visibility. (DCW Connect and Bluebeam)

Jobsite Technology

With a increasingly digitized work culture, construction and engineering firms are expanding use of AI and autonomous technology to increase jobsite safety and efficiency:

  • The market for AI in construction could reach $4.51 billion by 2026. (Reports and Data)
  • Wearable tech in the construction industry was worth almost $23 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $54 billion, CAGR 19%, by 2023. (Business Wire
  • Drone use continues to be one of the fastest growing trends in construction, rising by 239% per year.  (BigRentz)


The question of sustainability is an ever-important focus in all industries, especially in construction and engineering. With new building technologies and policies that reduce carbon emissions and waste, contractors and firms are helping pave the way for a better future:

  • The design and construction industry on a global scale will increase green building in the next few years, expecting a 50% increase of building projects that qualify as green by 2024. (Dodge Data & Analytics)
  • The Green Building Materials market was valued at around $254.76 billion in 2019 and is forecast to more than double to $573.91 billion in 2027. (Reports and Data)
  • In 2020, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) related capital for infrastructure increased by almost 30%. Researchers attribute the growth to the expansion of fundraising and interest in sustainability and green strategies. (Oxford Economics and Guy Carpenter

Materials and Labor Shortage

Global supply chains and jobless rates continue to change. Contractors and firms need a robust recruitment strategy in the face of labor shortages and increasing material prices: 

  • Jobless rate in construction fell to 4.6% in August from 6.1% in July. This is a 3% drop from construction’s jobless rate in August 2020. (ENR
  • Contractors are concerned about the increasing costs and decreasing availability of materials. 93% face at least one material shortage. 34% report a shortage on steel. 31% on wood/lumber. 15% on insulation and insulated material. (US Chamber of Commerce)
  • 89% of contractors looking to fill hourly craft positions and 86% of contractors looking to fill salaried positions report having a difficult time hiring qualified candidates.(AGC)
  • Companies are turning to innovative recruitment methods. 31% have added online strategies such as Instagram to reach younger applicants. 25% have partnered with government workforce development and unemployed agencies to track new applicants. (AGC)

As you keep an eye out on construction trends and new construction statistics and data that are impacting the construction and engineering industries, make sure your business is up-to-date with the newest tech and solutions, including advanced construction camera systems from TrueLook. Watch our live demo or reach out to us to learn more about how you can capitalize on new trends and drive growth in your business.

Allison Shaub, Chief Marketing Officer headhsot

Allison Shaub, Chief Marketing Officer

Allison is a seasoned marketing leader with over 14 years of experience driving transformative change for startups, agencies, and Fortune 100/500 companies. With expertise across diverse B2B and B2C markets, including technology, construction, automotive, and healthcare, she's known for her customer-centric approach that consistently delivers higher ROI and exceptional product development. At TrueLook, Allison spearheads strategic marketing initiatives to enhance brand awareness, meet business objectives, and foster deeper consumer engagement. Beyond work, Allison loves spending time with her husband, son, and two fur kids.

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