Seattle is betting big on green energy. Its government has pledged to divest from fossil fuels by 2030 and become completely carbon neutral by 2050 – and both dates are fast approaching.
The city has made big investments in trams, light-rail, and mixed-use developments to get residents out of their cars. The newly opened Climate Pledge Arena even recycles rainwater into ice for the Seattle Kraken to play on. This push for sustainability has potential for the construction industry: homes and businesses will need to be renovated to comply with new laws, and new structures will be built out of renewable materials to take advantage of tax credits.
Much of Seattle’s construction market comes from the residential sector. This is common for cities on the West Coast. What is less common is the city’s dedication to mass transit. Seattle is just old enough to have grown around streetcar and rail lines. Although historically neglected, these are seeing renewed interest. Developments are again springing up around transit hubs. This draws in workers from the suburbs and spurs demand from all sorts of other sectors. To meet this demand, construction employment has steadily grown throughout 2021. This has outpaced volume, however, and should push labor costs down in the short term.