American cities are bursting at the seams, due in no small part to the rise of the millennials.
Born between 1978 and the late ‘90s, this tech-savvy (yet undeniably “green”) generation is making waves across every aspect of society, reshaping construction in the process. From an increased need for multi-family units to a surge in mass transit, our nation’s youngest breed of an adult could arguably be it’s most practical.
According to the last population estimate conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans classified as millennials were 71 million. It’s a staggering figure that lends credence to the projection that “Generation Y” will overtake baby boomers in sheer number by 2019.
That’s very good news for builders in a variety of sectors.
Unlike their elders, most millennials take a minimalistic approach to life, especially when it comes to housing. Statistically, they seem drawn to a studio or one-bedroom apartments and/or live a communal lifestyle. In either instance, contractors specializing in midrise and high-rise multi-units should have their hands full for years to come.
Millennials are also more likely to use public transportation than own an automobile and are drawn to walkable neighborhoods. Simply put, they’d rather invest their money in an experience than a C-Class Mercedes.
In response to this trend, cities across the nation are exploring the modernization of their transportation systems to include bus rapid transit, bicycle, pedestrian and rail options in addition to expanding their road capacity. And as with the aforementioned multi-family trend, this need for diversity will broaden builders’ scope in terms of opportunity.
Oddly enough, contractors need millennials’ help to make it all happen.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers attempted to fill around 225,000 construction jobs per month in the first quarter of 2018 alone. While a lot of these openings involved hourly labor, the trend itself is reflective of an overall lack of talent that includes superintendents, estimators and other salaried personnel.
The good news is the solution can be found within the problem. Not since the age of the baby boomers has the construction industry had access to a demographic this size. Have no doubt; the talent is there. Contractors and developers just need help reeling it in.
For close to 20 years, Jackson Executive Search has been casting a line into the generational pool, attracting “fish” of all sizes. And while we’ve hooked more than our fair share of bass, we have a net full of minnows just waiting to grow.