Pandemic Impact on Engineering Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused substantial damage to the U.S. economy, to international trade, and increased volatility in the U.S. stock market. Finally, it seems as if the worst is over, and increasing job growth in the manufacturing industry is indicative of a brighter future for the United States economy.

In May and April of 2020, the U.S. economy lost roughly 22.4 million jobs, but has since gained 14.7 jobs (recovery of nearly 2/3). Much of the 2020 job losses correspond directly to disruptions in global supply chains; however, some experts speculate the issue also lies with the just-in-time inventory strategy of American manufacturers.

Rapid changes in the U.S. economic climate have created an influx in demand for consumer products such as automobiles and smartphones. Combine this with the microprocessor shortage and what you get is extreme underproduction of goods. As a result, the manufacturing industry has been reshoring manufacturing jobs since January 2021. While reshoring is generally beneficial for the American worker, many organizations are struggling to meet staffing requirements, in part, due to their inability to provide competitive wages. In May 2021, however, the average hourly earnings in manufacturing increased by 17 cents to $29.52, and the average hourly earnings of production workers increased to $23.52 (an 11-cent increase).

Fact: Employment in motor vehicles and parts rebounded in May 2021 and regained nearly 25,000 of the 38,000 jobs lost last year.

Conversely, the construction industry hasn’t seen the same recovery. In April 2020, nonresidential specialty trade contractors lost 17,000 jobs. While we are beginning to see an increase in jobs in 2021, stagnation in construction spending and residential permitting has led to poor employment rates throughout the year. Much of this immobility resulted from record-high lumber costs in the United States (also caused by supply chain disruptions). Fortunately, many economists speculate the prices of lumber will continue to subside later this year, as prices have increased at an unsustainable rate. Construction companies are just now beginning to get their footing again and are actively seeking solutions to lower costs to continue their business as usual.

With the increase in the number of remote workers in 2020 and 2021, many organizations are moving to centralized infrastructure, using Cloud systems to manage remote engineers and their document-centric workflows. Regardless of industry, Cloud migration has played a huge role in many businesses' road to recovery.

Due to the growth in Cloud infrastructure, and the state-of-the-art security benefits provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon has become the dominant leader in the public Cloud market, with a whopping 32% market share. The Cloud transition not only ensures organizations can manage their data reliably but also promotes scalability when needed most.

Whether or not we are experiencing a paradigm shift in how we work is not yet clear. In the short run, it does appear organizations are going to have to learn how to distribute, control, and secure engineering project information. Making sure along the way that workflows operate in an efficient and collaborative way to ensure project completion rates don’t diminish. And as part of the digital transformation, moving the company to non-paper, non-meeting processes.

ImageSite and Engine-Box

eQuorum (the provider of ImageSite and Engine-Box) has been utilizing hybrid Cloud technology for years, making the company a leader in Hybrid Cloud. Organizations across various industries including the manufacturing, construction, engineering services, utilities, and energy generation industries have trusted eQuorum’s products and services for over 25 years, many of which have made the transition to Cloud-based software.

To learn more about eQuorum’s products and services, click here.


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics