Concentration in Construction Industry falls to less than half in 10 years
May 25, 2023 10h00 AM | Last Updated: May 27, 2023 07h01 PM
- From 2012 to 2021, the concentration in the Construction Industry had a marked reduction: in 2012, the eight largest companies represented 10.8% of the sector, while in 2021, the participation of the eight leading companies retreated to 4.3%.
- In 2021, the country had 147,400 Construction companies, which employed 2.2 million persons. Compared to 2020, the number of employed persons in the sector grew by 11.4%, the highest annual percentage change since 2010. In the same comparison, the number of Construction companies grew by 11.7%, the highest annual rate since 2013.
- Among the segments of Construction, the sector of Specialized services for construction had the highest increase in the number of employed persons: 17.9%. Employment in the Works and Infrastructure sector fell by 0.6%.
- The value generated by the Construction sector reached R$377.8 billion in 2021, of which R$355.8 billion in works and/or services and R$22.0 billion in developments, works and/or services (5.8%).
- Total salaries and other compensation in Construction was R$ 67.2 billion, with highlight to the Works and infrastructure sector, with 36.5% of this amount.
- In terms of minimum wages, the average monthly wage in Construction fell to the lowest level in the series that started in 2007: 2.1 minimum wages in 2021.
- From 2012 to 2021, there was a drop of 22.9% (or 654.4 thousand less persons) in the number of jobs in the Construction Industry. The Construction of Buildings segment lost 31.7% (375 thousand fewer jobs) and the Infrastructure Works segment dropped 33.6% (322.9 thousand fewer jobs). Employment in specialized services for construction increased by 6.1% (43.5 thousand more persons).
- In 2021, works demanded by the private sector represented 74.4% of the total value of construction works and/or services, the highest participation in the time series.
The Construction industry generated R$377.8 billion in value from developments, works and/or services in 2021, of which R$355.8 billion relate to works and/or services and R$22.0 billion to developments. In 2021, the country had 147,389 Construction companies, which employed 2,203,731 persons. Compared to 2020, the total number of employed persons in the sector grew by 11.4%, the highest rate since 2010, while the total number of companies had the highest annual increase since 2013: 11.7%. Survey analyst Marcelo Miranda highlights the main points of the macroeconomic scenario in 2021, the first year after the start of the pandemic, marked by a serious economic crisis, although not affecting much the construction sector.
“In 2021, economic growth was resumed: 5.0% of GDP positive change, after a decrease of 3.3% in 2020. That occurred despite significant levels of unemployment and inflation. The latter hit 10.6%. Interest rates also started increasing, after having reached a floor of 2.0% in the pandemic heyday. Still, the interest rate remained low, contributing positively to the real estate sector. Other positive factors can be pointed out too, as the search for properties more fit for work-from-home and the start of the Housing Program "Casa Verde e Amarela" (Green and Yellow House), in August 2020, which probably contributed to boost the construction sector", analyzes Mr. Miranda.
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Between 2020 and 2021, the Annual Survey of Construction Industry (PAIC) showed that the Construction of buildings continued to be the most important segment, with 44.6% of the total value (R$ 168.6 billion), the highest number of employed persons (807.7 thousand) and the second segment in payment of salaries, withdrawals and other compensation.
Infrastructure works was the second in value of works and services (R$ 122.4 billion), but fell 8.4 percentage points in ten years to 32.4%. The segment employed 637.3 thousand people. Specialized services for construction, although being the third in value of works and developments, grew by 6.4 pp to 23.0% (R$ 86.9 billion) and is the second in number of employed persons, with 758.7 thousand persons.
In ten years, construction industry lost 22.9% of jobs
PAIC 2021 shows that construction companies employed a total of 2,203,731 persons, a reduction of 22.9% (or 654.4 thousand jobs) compared to 2012. “There is a certain balance in the employment rates of the three sectors: 36.7% of jobs are in the construction of buildings; 34.4% in specialized services for construction and 28.9% in infrastructure works”, points out Mr. Miranda.
Over the ten years analyzed, employment in the three segments had significant changes. Construction of buildings maintained its position as the main employer, but lost 4.7 pp of its participation in the period. The Infrastructure works segment fell from second to third, behind Specialized services for construction, which gained the position.
In absolute numbers, Construction of buildings lost 375.0 thousand jobs, and Infrastructure works, 322.9 thousand. On the other hand, the segment of specialized services for construction had an increase of 43.5 thousand persons.
Compared to 2012, both the size of companies, measured by the average number of employees, and salaries fell. In 2021, an average of 15 workers were employed in construction industry companies, receiving an average monthly compensation of 2.1 m.w. In 2012, these values were 27 persons and 2.6 m.w., respectively.
From 2020 to 2021 number of employed persons in Construction increased 11,4%
In 2021, the amount of 2.2 million persons represented an increase of 11.4% (225.1 thousand more workers) compared to 2020.“This annual growth is mainly driven by the segment of Construction of buildings (16.4% ) and Specialized services for construction, which grew the most in terms of job creation, with a 17.9% increase in the number of employed persons. Employment in the Works and Infrastructure sector fell by 0.6%”, points out Mr. Miranda.
Among the three segments, Construction of buildings is the one that, despite having the largest number of jobs, pays the lowest amount in minimum wages, 1.9 m.w., down 0.3 m.w. in ten years. Infrastructure works paid the greatest amount (2.7 m.w.), although with a decrease of 0.9 m.w. compared to 2012. The compensation in the Specialized services for construction segment was 2.0 m.w., against the 2.1 m.w. in 2012.
74.4% of construction works and services are for private sector clients
Among the structural changes is the growth in private sector participation to 74.4% of the total value of construction works and/or services, the highest participation in the time series – in 2012, this percentage was 64.8%. The participation of the public sector as a demander of construction works and/or services fell by 9.6 pp to 25.6%.
This evolution was also registered in Construction of buildings and in Infrastructure works, segments in which the private sector's participation reached 85.0% and 56.8%, respectively, in 2021. On the other hand, the segment of Specialized services for construction reached 81.4% of private sector participation in 2021, the second highest value in the time series, behind only 2019 (82.2%).
Concentration drops by less than half in ten years
In 2012, the eight largest companies accounted for 10.8% of the sector, a percentage that dropped to 4.3% in 2021. Concentration fell mostly in the segmetn of Infrastructure works, from 24.6% in 2012 to 8.4% in 2021. In the Construction of buildings segment, the reduction was 1.5 pp, from 8.6% to 7.1% in ten years. On the other hand, the segment of specialized services for construction showed an increase in concentration, from 4.3% in 2012 to 7.3% in 2021.
“There is a decentralization in companies, with the reduction of large contractors and the slowdown of infrastructure works. A relevant structural change is the loss of participation of the segments of Construction of buildings and Infrastructure works in the sector's total employed persons. Meanwhile, the number of jobs in specialized construction services rose from 715.3 thousand in 2012 to 758.7 thousand in 2021”, analyzes Mr. Miranda.
The biggest cost of the construction industry is still deu to emplyed persons, followed by the consumption of materials and expenses with works and services contracted to third parties.
“Construction of buildings is the only segment in which consumption of construction material is the highest cost. As for the products – analyzed among companies with 30 or more employed persons –, residential works remained in ten years as the main product; however, specialized construction services gain share among products, surpassing Construction of roads, railways and urban works in second place”, highlights the survey analyst.
Southeast contribution grows in employment and declines in construction value
The Southeast continues to be the main Major Region in value of developments, works and services, and in employment, but, between 2012 and 2021, its share in the value generated in construction fell from 51.7% to 48.2%. On the other hand, the participation of the Southeast in the total construction jobs increased from 47.8% to 49.4%.
“In the case of employment, there was a gain in participation because the Southeast lost fewer jobs, proportionally, than the North, Central-West and Northeast Regions. The South Region had the greatest increase in representation, ranging from 13.5% in 2012 to 18.6% in 2021 and becoming the region with the second highest value generated in construction, surpassing the Northeast”, concludes Mr. Miranda.