Construction industry harder hit by Covid-19 than 2008 economic crisis

Construction site in Urk brought to a standstill by the coronavirus, 28 March 2020
Construction site in Urk brought to a standstill by the coronavirus, 28 March 2020fokkebokDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

Some 40 thousand jobs in the construction sector will disappear in the coming two years due to the coronavirus, according to the economic institute for construction EIB. The institute thinks this crisis will hit construction harder than the 2008 economic crisis. EIB expects construction production to shrink by over 15 percent, NOS reports.

The outbreak of the coronavirus will definitely impact the entire Dutch economy. Social planning office CPB predicted a recession even if the measures in place to curb the spread of the virus are lifted quickly. Production has come to a near standstill in many sectors. 

It is inevitable that this will also hit construction hard in the long run, EIB said. Even after the current measures are lifted, the negative effects of the coronavirus will continue to affect the sector through the loss of investment plans, the institute thinks. Entrepreneurs' lack of confidence mean that many building plans are now being postponed. "An owner of a restaurant chain is now only busy surviving and will postpone any plans for expansion or renovation," EIB director Taco van Hoek said to NOS.

The construction sector was already facing problems before the coronavirus hit. Many construction projects were brought to a sudden halt when the Council of States declared the government's nitrogen approach program invalid. This program allowed for nitrogen emissions caused by new projects to be compensated for at a later stage. When it was declared invalid, construction projects had to stop so that nitrogen emissions could be reduced elsewhere first.