ACEC Research Institute
Institute 1590675946803

Engineering CEOs 'Extremely Optimistic' for Rest of 2023

June 9, 2023
New survey of CEOs by American Council of Engineering Companies finds respondents “extremely optimistic” for continued strong economic performance.


WASHINGTON, DC, June 9, 2023 — Engineering industry leaders expressed growing optimism for strong economic performance in the coming year, according to the 2023 Engineering Business Sentiment Survey released by the independent research arm of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). 

Download your copy of the report here.

The survey from the ACEC Research Institute found the outlook for the overall economy is improving among the nation’s leading engineering firms. Based on 630 responses, findings show the financial performance of individual firms continues to grow, and executives are reporting a growing volume of work driven largely by significant investments in the nation’s infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and other initiatives.  

  • Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Growing Markets Bolster Economic Outlook 

“Today’s report is good news for our industry and good news for the nation’s economy. The long-term federal investments in American infrastructure and manufacturing – advocated for by President Biden and supported by bipartisan majorities in Congress – are surely a large reason why these engineering leaders are so optimistic,” said ACEC President and CEO Linda Bauer Darr.

“America’s engineering industry serves a broad spectrum of our economy, from transportation and water to energy, housing, industrial and manufacturing facilities, health care and more. If these firms are busy now and hopeful for the future, that’s a good indication that the broader economy is moving in a positive direction,” Darr continued.

The analysis released by the ACEC Research Institute found the outlook in water/wastewater, industrial/manufacturing facilities, and transportation particularly strong.  While the outlook for certain sectors, such as commercial real estate and telecommunications, is down slightly from the first quarter, the sentiment among business leaders remains positive in these markets.

Executives continue to express concerns over inflation and the potential for a recession, but these concerns continue to be overtaken by a broader sense of optimism across multiple sectors of the economy.

Notably, firm executives report that workforce shortages continue to be a challenge for the industry, with over half of firms (56%) turning down work due to a talent pipeline that isn’t keeping up with demand. 

 “We need more engineers to do the work, and the industry is pushing for solutions, including a long-term effort through investments in STEM education and other initiatives to attract more inspired and innovative young people to pursue engineering careers,” said ACEC Research Institute Chair Mike Carragher.

“We also need immigration policies that are better aligned to enhance the nation’s competitiveness, such as making available more H-1B visas and green cards in the near-term to attract and keep the best and brightest from around the world who are graduating from our engineering schools,” Carragher added.


CONTACT: Allison Schneider, (810) 334-0939