Covid-19 and the construction sector

The pandemic of COVID-19 ravaged the world of work. In the construction sector, its impact, which varies across industries, has been significant.

Covid-19 and the construction sector

Construction enterprises and workers are particularly vulnerable to the drastic decline in economic activity resulting from the pandemic, as construction is sensitive to economic cycles. Decent job deficits in the sector have been compounded by increased health threats associated with COVID-19.

 However, construction, due to its capacity to build jobs, has great potential to stimulate recovery. Together with the application of international labor standards, tripartite cooperation and social dialogue are vital to promoting a human-centered recovery from the crisis. In turn, recovery measures can support the transformation of the sector towards sustainability and digitalization.

Consequently, governments, employers' and workers' organizations, and other sectoral stakeholders respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a range of measures aimed at supporting the construction sector.

The construction sector's activities include the construction, renovation, maintenance, and demolition of (residential and non-residential) buildings, as well as work carried out on civil engineering projects, such as roads and utility systems.

A variety of market segments, including architecture and design, manufacturing of equipment and materials, transport, and energy and waste management, are involved. Value is added by converting source materials into capital assets that are essential for both economic activity and the provision of infrastructure services. As a result, training in the sector can significantly impact revenue generation and poverty reduction. Its considerable potential for job creation com com

The construction sector accounted for around 7.7% of global employment before the pandemic, with projections for 2020 suggesting that it would contribute to 13.4% of global GDP. However, in the context of the current crisis, the fall in revenue and the increasing challenges of project delivery have led to a contraction in the sector in most markets, with a corresponding negative impact on the labor force.

Sixty-four percent of the construction sector workers were either self-employed or employed in micro-enterprises with less than ten employees before the COVID-19 crisis.

 These activities, which are the least likely to benefit from financial stimuli, are more vulnerable to the economic recession, frequently without credit and very little asset access. There are some ways to mitigate the pandemic's adverse effects on the construction workforce, including access to social protection, including healthcare and income security, and support for the implementation of OSH measures.

Construction operations, with shortages of raw materials and other inputs, vendors and subcontractors, and staff, have been increasingly affected by the pandemic and the disruption of global supply chains.

The slower completion of projects has resulted in reduced transportation and travel bans and equipment suppliers, and leasing providers will face issues with systems left inoperative. Labor shortages became a concern for the industry since many refugees requested to return home after the lockdown was first introduced due to the pandemic. Construction investors become vulnerable to the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic since there is a possible possibility of a pause in finishing construction projects.

Many markets, like Africa and the United Kingdom, have guidelines to endorse this practice. For instance, governments in India, Germany, and the United States have also given deadline leniency in solar power ventures.

A move to more supplier flexibility, regional service providers, and changes in local inventories of critical materials or parts can be part of the pandemics' long-term effect on building supply chains.