2019: Helping Our Members Thrive

February 28, 2019
By Michael Copp, Executive Vice President

2019 is the Chinese Year of the Brown Earth Pig (aardvark). Unlike the aardvark, we will not be sticking our head in the ground, but rather looking above the berm to see how we can help contractors thrive. As the PHCC Board of Directors prepared to review PHCC’s strategic plan earlier this year, we saw several areas within the industry where we can actively support our members. Here’s what you should know, according to our latest environmental scan:


  • 2018’s trade policies will continue to impact building and product prices
  • Strict immigration policies will continue to impact the availability of construction workers
  • Infrastructure spending will again be at the forefront of the Congressional agenda
  • In 2019, the individual mandate penalty of the Affordable Care Act will no longer be in effect
  • PHCC is exploring programs and opportunities to provide the industry with lower health care costs
  • Power in the House of Representatives has shifted from Republican to Democrat


  • Construction starts will remain virtually unchanged ($808 billion) in 2019
  • Economy will resume a growth rate of 2.5 percent
  • Commercial construction will drop by 3 percent
  • The Federal Reserve will raise rates a quarter of a point every three months to meet the goal of the federal funds interest rate of 3 percent
  • National unemployment rate will remain low
  • Demand for workers will exceed supply

Social/ Cultural 

  • Homeownership rate stayed fairly stagnant, rising from 63.9 percent to 64.4 percent, still among the lowest in five decades
  • Millennials continue to change the way people work together through increased telecommuting, use of social networking and global collaboration
  • Baby boomers prefer to age-in-place at home or are downsizing to smaller homes, though rising home prices and mortgage rates are forcing many to re-think their plans or finances


  • The smart home market saw revenue at $23.556 million in 2018, a 33.4 percent increase from 2017
  • Revenue will grow at an annual rate of 13.7 percent through 2023 to $44.791 million
  • Commercial building has placed energy-efficiency at the forefront of priorities, including technology for HVAC, water, thermodynamics, and more

      For your business:

  • New mobile apps and innovative devices continue to be created
  • Cloud computing to store and access data and programs over the internet is expanding
  • Advanced technology for communication, managing jobs, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and equipment and machinery can help ease the skilled-worker shortage burden and create entirely paperless offices
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software being adopted for managing customers and retainment
  • Software for managing inventory gains users
  • GPS tracking on trucks to avoid theft is more common
  • Corporate computer networks are being hacked at alarming rates; and securing data is paramount

The report concludes by saying that, “By considering these factors during the strategic planning process, PHCC will be well-positioned to help members address any challenges, positioning them as the ‘contractors of choice’ in their markets.”

You might also check out the following video, 2019 Construction Outlook and Trends by Dodge Data & Analytics. 2019 Trends start at 0:35:38 of the video if you want skip update.

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