The commercial construction market in Georgia, specifically metro Atlanta, is experiencing widespread growth, reportedly up 19% in the first half of the year with a continued growth trend expected through the 4th quarter of 2017 and into 2018. With the tax incentives our State is offering companies to bring industry here, in addition to our growing population base, we anticipate these construction trends to continue well into 2018 and beyond.
As project demands heat up the local construction market, the competition for talent becomes more and more intense. This fierce competition is extending beyond the organizations and into the subcontractor market, where it is becoming equally difficult to attract qualified subcontractors to bid on prospective projects. Experiencing an influx of opportunities, along with an already strained workforce, subcontractors are quickly becoming notably more thoughtful about the work they pursue.
In some cases, these subcontractors are turning away work or increasing their pricing just to keep pace with demand. These variables, alongside materials pricing, will impact the revenue outcomes for contractors in the coming year. As near-term forecasts call for solid growth for the remainder of 2017 and into 2018, contractors will be compelled to examine their strategy to ensure the margin of return is such that they can maintain a healthy business.
The entire industry is experiencing a squeeze on skilled labor and we believe this will remain a challenge for years to come. RKR is committed to being a part of the solution and have partnered with various organizations to raise awareness on the issue and develop opportunities for training.
As the industry works hard to raise awareness around career opportunities in construction, high schools are beginning to offer construction labs within their facilities. In addition, the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) is forming more partnerships for workforce development. It is important that we continue to find ways to keep pace with the construction demands in Georgia.
As a committed construction partner, RKR will continue to do our part to keep pace with demand. We are currently working on more than a dozen projects throughout Georgia and are gearing up for new and exciting projects for 2018. With 26 years in business, you can rest assured that RKR is continually looking into the future and planning ahead to manage our workload, appropriately staff projects, maintain our partnerships with qualified subcontractors, and manage through the factors present in the current economic environment.
RKR is focused and ready to provide the same level of service you have come to expect of us over the years.