Many industries are suffering as a result of the Corona measures. On the construction sites, however, work has continued at full speed since the beginning of the pandemic. Sales have now risen for the eighth year in succession. This is arousing the desires of trade unions.
The German construction industry did good business even during the Corona crisis. With a strong year-end spurt, the main construction industry increased sales in 2020 by 4.9 percent year-on-year, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office. For the industry, it was already the eighth year in a row with rising sales.
In December, revenues were even 18 percent higher than in the same month of the previous year, preliminary figures showed. Almost all areas of the construction industry contributed to the upturn - with the exception of road and rail construction, which remained slightly below the previous year's figure. The carpenters' business grew the most, by 13.6 percent. According to the Wiesbaden-based statisticians, the average number of employees for the year rose by 1.5 percent.
"The construction industry is once again proving to be a pillar of the economy as a whole," said the German Construction Industry Federation (HDB). The reduction in value-added tax in the second half of the year also helped. Its expiry at the end of the year had led to a strong increase in sales in December. "However, the pull-forward effects will mean that these sales will be missing in 2021."
Recognition for around 850,000 employees?
Booming residential construction in particular has been driving the construction industry for a long time. Recently, however, the construction industry has complained of restraint on the part of public-sector clients and companies in the pandemic. The situation of municipal budgets is severely strained, the Central Association of the German Construction Industry (ZDB) recently noted. "The federal and state governments continue to have a duty to ensure the municipalities' ability to act this year." The municipal investment backlog in roads and schools must not be allowed to grow.
The good business in the construction industry is arousing the desires of trade unions. IG Bauen Agrar Umwelt, for example, announced on Tuesday that it would be campaigning for a "strong increase in income" in the collective bargaining round starting in May. "While many industries are suffering badly from the lockdowns, work on construction sites has continued at full speed since the beginning of the pandemic," explained Carsten Burckhardt, a member of the Federal Executive Board. For the approximately 850,000 employees, there must be recognition for their work under difficult conditions, he said. In addition, construction workers must receive appropriate compensation for the long journeys to construction sites.