Colorado Public Works Journal, Winter 2022

ACEC ENGINEERING FORWARD Heidi Gordon ACEC National Research Institute Releases New Engineering Industry Forecast In December 2021, the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) National Research Institute released two new reports on the engineering and design services industry: • 2021 Economic Assessment of the Engineering & Design Services Industry, and • Engineering Business Sentiment Report (Q4 2021). The data shows the industry has rebounded from the COVIDinduced recession, but firms continue to grapple with a tight labor market and lack of qualified workers. In 2020, ACEC National Research Institute commissioned the “Industry Impact Series” to profile and analyze performance in the engineering and design services industry. The 2021 Economic Assessment of the Engineering & Design Services Industry is the second annual release of an engineering and design services industry forecast and updates the part of the series that aims to describe, measure and demonstrate the indispensable partnership among engineering, architecture and other design services to deliver the built environment of the United States. (NOTE: the “built environment” refers to all human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from buildings and parks/green space to neighborhoods and cities, including their supporting infrastructure such as water supply or energy networks.) Highlights from the 2021 Economic Assessment of the Engineering & Design Services include: • $338 billion in industry sales; • $198 billion direct economic contribution; • 1.5 million direct full- and part-time jobs; • $97,300 average yearly wages; and • $105 billion collected in total federal, state and local tax. The Engineering Business Sentiment Report details the current and near-term sentiment of the engineering and design services industry on hot-button issues such as sector performance, national economic confidence and workforce availability. For the Q4 2021 report, ACEC National Research Institute surveyed the leaders of 500 firms about their views on the current and future state of the market. Overall, respondents are extremely positive about the industry and its prospects. Large firm leaders and those in the Sunbelt were the most optimistic. The Engineering Business Sentiment Report also contains information on hot-topic issues facing the engineering and design services industry such as the workforce pipeline and hiring challenges Visit https://programs.acec.org/impact-report-21/ for a complimentary download of each report. The author Heidi Gordon, CAE is Deputy Director/COO of ACEC and can be contacted at heidi@acec-co.org 64| ColoradoPublic Works Journal

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