April 01, 2020 10:40 AM

As COVID-19 continues to spread, markets worldwide are feeling the effects. The construction industry in the United States is no exception, with impacts on material deliveries, project funding, and the ability of workers to remain on site all under extreme strain.

Prior to COVID-19, New York continued the trend as the largest and most dominant construction market in the United States, with an estimated value of $62.2 billion of new construction put in place. That’s almost $20 billion more than Los Angeles and Dallas, which were the second- and third-biggest markets, respectively. Activity in New York City was already slowing down but this has been expedited with COVID-19.

The economic effects on construction are highly dependent on how quickly and comprehensively the virus continues to spread. New York’s recent decision to halt all non-essential construction takes the industry into unchartered waters. That said, the construction industry is an agile one; already, design teams and consultants are utilizing work-from-home options and online meetings to keep business moving along with as few disruptions as possible. The biggest impact will be seen on actual project sites: manpower fell across the city during March yet remained remarkably resilient in the midst of COVID-19. However, growing outbreaks on many job sites necessitated a pause. As jobs demobilize and trades disperse, the foc