During a recent national online news conference, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu said that the nation’s construction industry recovery may be two years away. “From what we’ve seen so far in 2011, nonresidential construction will likely be further delayed,” said Basu. “Right now, what will happen in 2012 remains unclear.

“Officially, the country is in a period of economic recovery. Unfortunately, this does not mean that all segments of the economy are doing well. No sector of the economy has been hit harder than the construction industry.

“Employment in the construction industry has expanded over the past four months. However, I do not expect significant construction employment in the months ahead. The economy has hit a soft spot and the construction job picture is flat.

“Segments of the construction industry that will likely experience growth in the coming 10 to 12 months will be health care, which is the construction of hospitals, health centers and clinics, and the natural resources sector, which is in reaction to the growing cost of energy.

Basu was joined by National Association of Homebuilders’ Chief Economist David Crowe and American Institute of Architects (AIA)’ Chief Economist Kermit Baker.

To watch a recorded version of the 2011 Mid-Year Construction Forecast, go here.