Colorado Public Works Journal, Spring 2024

SPRING 2024┃55 Infrastructure Construction Booming in Colorado, Providing Solid Careers Opportunities for All The author Tony Milo is Executive Director of the Colorado Contractors Association and can be contacted at tmilo@ccainfo.org INSIDE CCA Tony Milo Infrastructure construction reached a record year in 2023 in Colorado, and it appears 2024 and beyond continue to be promising. Thanks to the recent passage of long-term state and federal funding measures that CCA advocated for, non-building construction reached a record level last year in Colorado at more than $5 billion. This investment has supported economic growth, tourism and a lot of greatpaying careers in the industry with no college loan debt and unlimited opportunities for advancement and growth. The data below is from AGC of America and tells the story well. Economic Impact of Construction: • In Colorado, construction contributed $27 billion (5.3%) of the state’s GDP of $502 billion. • There were 919,000 construction establishments in the U.S. in the 1st quarter of 2023, including 23,300 in Colorado. (An establishment is a fixed business location; about 99% of construction firms have only one establishment.) Construction Spending: • Private nonresidential spending in Colorado totaled $7.1 billion in 2022. State and local spending totaled $6.5 billion. (Totals are not available for residential, railroad, power, communication, or federal construction.) Construction Employment (Seasonally Adjusted): • Construction employment in Colorado in July 2023 totaled 181,000, a decrease of 3,000 (1.6%) from July 2022 and an increase of 1,600 or 0.9% from February 2020. • Contractors are having trouble filling positions, impeding the industry’s recovery. In the September 2023 AGCAutodesk Workforce Survey, 85% of firms had a hard time filling hourly craft positions. Construction Industry Pay: • Construction jobs pay well. In Colorado, 4 out of the 5 most numerous construction occupations had median annual pay exceeding the median for all employees in 2022. The average pay for a laborer in Colorado is more than $40,000 per year and supervisors average more than $70,000 annually plus benefits. If you’d like to explore how you can start your construction career today, check our CCA website at coloradocontractors.org!

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