In talking to local contractors in recent months, I have noticed a renewed energy, an optimism that they have endured the worst and will soon see better days. The results of our recent Compensation and Benefits Study suggest the same thing: While many contractors continue to struggle through a shaky economy, many others are cautiously planning for a recovery.

Ohio Contractor Survey

Of the 43 local contractors who participated in the study, 40 percent said they added employees in 2010 and 42 percent said they expect their 2010 revenue to exceed their 2009 revenue. Nearly one-third of respondents said they expect to increase revenue by 10 percent or more.

That said, 30 percent of contractors expect their revenue to decrease by 10 percent or more, so it is clear these are still tough times within the industry. Many are wrestling with the fundamental issues of survival – how to cut costs or find new sectors or services.

The study was conducted in the fall by Barnes Dennig and Schiff, Kreidler-Shell Insurance, and it featured general contractors and specialty contractors in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton. It was the eighth edition of our survey.

Local contractors reported that salaries were cut by an average of 1.5% to 3% in 2009 but will rise slightly in 2010. Add in the new employees and the expected increases in revenue, and it is an encouraging sign for the industry.

The energy and optimism have not yet translated into consistent growth, but it is a step in the right direction.

For a more-detailed discussion of the results of our study, or to request a copy, contact Chris or another member of Barnes Dennig’s Construction Client Service Team at (513) 241-8313. 

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