For immediate release - June 8, 2022
Brian Turmail, Vice President of Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives at Associated General Contractors of America
Region’s fast-growing $8.3 billion construction sector contributes an extra $10 billion to local economy, supports 83,000 non-construction jobs
New economic analysis shows impact of construction industry that directly employs nearly 60,000 as region’s two largest building associations merge to boost sector’s sway nationally & regionally
KANSAS CITY, MO. – The bi-state region’s fast-growing construction sector, which last year started $8.3 billion worth of projects, contributes an extra $10.7 billion to the local economy and supports 83,000 non-construction jobs, according to a new economic impact analysis released by the Associated General Contractors of America today. The new analysis shows the broader impacts of an industry as the region’s two largest building associations announced plans to merge by the end of the year.
“Construction is expanding in the Kansas City metro area,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “As a result, the industry is adding good-paying jobs at a faster pace than most of the country, supporting additional employment throughout the region, and creating structures that will enhance the area’s already high quality of life and economic competitiveness.”
The new economic analysis, which Simonson authored, draws on a variety of outside sources that demonstrate the broader impacts of the region’s construction industry on the regional economy. The analysis finds that construction activity in the metro area, which directly employs 58,800 people, also supports an additional 83,000 jobs in the bi-state region, which supply the construction industry or benefit from spending by its workers and suppliers. Moreover, the $8.3 billion in construction started locally in 2021 can be expected to add roughly $10.7 billion to the economies of the 22-county Kansas City Combined Statistical Area.
The report indicates that the region’s construction industry is expanding rapidly. For example, there was a 72 percent increase in the value of construction projects started in the first quarter of 2022 compared to a year ago. And local construction employment jumped 16 percent from April 2020 to a record high in April 2022. The industry also directly employs 6.3 percent of the local workforce and typically pays well above the region’s average job.
The national association commissioned the new economic report to assess the strength of the local construction industry as the region’s two biggest commercial building associations, The Builders’ Association and the Kansas City Chapter of AGC, announced they will merge on Jan. 1, 2023, to become The Builders, a chapter of the AGC. The new association will have over 600 construction firms and related businesses as members.
“Our members have told us they are most concerned about workforce shortages and supply chain problems,” said Rob Cleavinger, Board of Directors Chair, The Builders’ Association & JE Dunn Construction Company Senior Vice President. “With the strength of our two associations merged and engaged at the national level, we are in a stronger position to be able to support solutions to these issues.”
“These two associations have been strengthened over time by looking forward, listening to their memberships, and adjusting course in ways that will best advance the commercial construction industry,” said Parker Young, Board of Directors President, Kansas City Chapter of AGC & Straub Construction President. “We have reached another critical point of evolution, and I’m excited about the next major milestone in our history as we again evolve to better serve our members.”
“This unification of the associations will aid in our mission of advancing the construction industry and serving as a catalyst for collaboration by connecting passionate people and businesses, with a vision of improving lives through construction,” said Don Greenwell, president of The Builders’ Association.
The newly merged group will become one of the top ten largest chapters of the Associated General Contractors of America’s 89 chapters. The Builders will give the region’s commercial construction industry an even stronger voice regionally and nationally via its affiliation with AGC of America.
“This new mega chapter will give the region’s chapters a much stronger and more unified voice in Washington and within the broader national construction industry,” said Brian Turmail, the association’s national spokesman, during the unveiling of the new economic report and announcement of the pending merger.
Read Construction’s Contribution to the Kansas City Region’s Economy here.