on March 7th, 2016

The construction industry is fluctuating globally according to multiple news sources this week. IOL reports that in South Africa, the construction industry has been in a decline since the concluding of the 2010 World Cup. Murray & Roberts and Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon – companies that designed and established Cape Town Stadium – have allegedly retrenched staff and are blaming the lack of new projects that require their engineering teams and/or workers. 

IOL also claim that the “four largest construction companies” have retrenched at least “20,000 permanent and contract jobs in South Africa over the last two years” in the current slump that the construction industry is trying to survive. 

An industry that is still booming in South Africa, or, at least, appears to be, is the shopping centre industry. The Mall of Africa, in Waterfall City in Midrand, is eight weeks away from its launch in April. The mall that is still under construction will be Africa’s largest shopping mall development to date and is valued at R4.5 billion. Multiple other malls in South Africa are also going through renovations which have no doubt produced more engineering construction jobs. But, companies are still reporting a slump in the construction industry as a whole. 

However, in the United states, according to ConstructionEquipment.com  235,000 construction jobs were made available  from December 2008 to February 2016. The site says this a 4% rise, from 2008 when 6,631,000 construction positions were being filled. This reveals the construction industry in the US is doing quite well. The analysis was done by the Associated General Contractors of America. The association’s chief economist, Ken Simonson, said, “The overall picture for construction employment is very positive with robust job growth and very little unemployment.” 

Moreover, Germany is also reporting a growth in the construction sector. Markit Economics estimated that in February of 2016 a reading of the Purchasing Managers’ Index showed a fast expansion rate of the industry that was cross-referenced to the last record expansion from March 2011. Their measurements read 55.5 in December 2015 and had grown to 57.9 when another measurement was taken in January 2016. They also revealed that commercial building and civil engineering output had also seen more orders than expected.  

Oliver Kolodseike, an economist at Markit explained the growth and the subsequent growth to come for Germany by saying, “House building remained a particularly bright spot in the data, rising at the steepest rate in nine years. With large inflows of refugees and the government planning significant investments to support residential building projects, it is likely that construction activity will continue to expand in the coming months.” 


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