The season is coming on us quickly. If the weather is in our favor, it should be a good one. A couple of things to look at. 

Good News!

Moodys issued a “Stable” rating for the 2019 construction season. Factoring in all the data points, some bad but most good, the Moody’s team projects the next 12 months will be stable.  In fact the good market conditions for construction may last 18 months.

Home builders revenues are expected to increase 6-8% with operating income increasing in the 6-7% range.

The Unexpected Drug Problem

Every contractor is aware of the typical drug and alcohol problems staff may have.  Serious as they are, companies must take precautions to avoid financial and physical injury caused by high or drunk workers.  But another drug issue is arising.

Starting in the 80s and accelerating in the 90s and 2000s, the use of prescription medications to treat “mental” issues with children has become common place.  Seems like most kids need a drug or two now a days.  Not really, most kids are not medicated, but a growing number are.  A recent survey found that around 24% of college students are on one or more prescription drugs for ADHD, anxiety, or depression.  Reasons why are varied and debatable.  However, the implication for employers is turning out to be problematic.

It appears nobody thought much about the long term effect of medicating kids from an early age into adulthood.  Several of these folks have grown up taking medications nearly their entire life.   Now there are conditions and issues needing attention for many of them.  Unfortunately these conditions are affecting employers.

For starters, many Millennials will drop off the medications until they “feel” bad then start back up.  Often such a routine is not healthy.  It also can create a yo-yo phenomena where a person’s personality and productivity seems to rise and fall over time.  Absenteeism is the most damaging result.  Days off to recoup from depression and anxiety are commonplace for the long term medicated.  Even while on the job, productivity falls when they are off their medications schedule and their issues are taking over.

Though you hear little about this, long term users of prescription meds are a growing problem for employers.

-Scott Knowles, Wolf Creek Co. President 

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