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ABC issues news releases on the latest workforce, policy and industry issues, as well as construction-related economic data and trends. Commercial and industrial construction economic analyses include federal data on construction spending, employment, GDP and the Producer Price Index, as well as state-by-state construction unemployment estimates.

In addition, ABC produces the Construction Backlog Indicator, the only economic indicator that reflects the amount of work that will be performed by commercial and industrial construction contractors in the months ahead, and the Construction Confidence Index, a diffusion index that signals construction contractors’ expectations for sales, profit margins and staffing levels. ABC construction economic releases are published according to this schedule 



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From the category archives: Construction Economics

Construction Economics

Nonresidential Construction Spending Expands for Seventh Consecutive Month

Thursday, October 1, 2015 11:55 AM
August marked the seventh consecutive month nonresidential construction spending expanded according to an Oct. 1 release supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau. Nonresidential spending totaled $696.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis in August, a 0.3 percent increase from the previous month and a 12.3 percent increase from the same time last year. The Census Bureau downwardly revised July’s estimate from $696.1 billion to $694.1 billion. Read the rest of entry »

August Construction Unemployment Rates Improve in 45 States from 2014

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 9:00 AM
Nationally, the construction employment picture has continued to improve from last year. The not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rates for the country and 45 states were down in August on a year-over-year basis. For the first eight months of the year, construction added 113,000 seasonally adjusted (SA) jobs. At the same time, NSA jobs increased by 221,000 from August 2014 to August 2015. Read the rest of entry »

Construction Materials Dip for Second Consecutive Month

Friday, September 11, 2015 12:06 PM
Prices for inputs to the construction industry fell 0.9 percent in August after shedding 0.1 percent in July. Inputs to nonresidential construction behaved similarly, losing 0.8 percent for the month and 4.7 percent for the year. Read the rest of entry »

Construction Activity Increases as Backlog Edges Higher

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 9:00 AM
Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) expanded by 1 percent to 8.5 months during the 2nd quarter of 2015. Backlog declined 3 percent during the 1st quarter, which was punctuated by harsh winter weather and the lingering effects of the West Coast ports slowdown. CBI stands roughly where it did a year ago, indicative of an ongoing recovery in the nation’s nonresidential construction industry. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Employment Downtick No Cause for Concern

Friday, September 4, 2015 10:04 AM
Nonresidential construction employment fell by 700 jobs in August after losing 5,600 jobs in July and 800 jobs in June. Despite the recent slide, nonresidential construction employment is still up 38,800 jobs for the year. 
Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Spending Continues to Grow Through Mid-Summer

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 11:42 AM
Nonresidential construction spending expanded 0.5 percent in July and is up 12.7 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to a Sept. 1 release by the U.S. Census Bureau. This represents the strongest year-over-year percentage growth in spending since April 2008. On a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, nonresidential construction spending totaled $696.1 billion in July, which is the best reading since March 2009. Additionally, June’s estimate was upwardly revised 0.9 percent from $686.9 billion to $692.8 billion.
Read the rest of entry »

Construction Input Prices Trend Lower in July

Friday, August 14, 2015 10:52 AM
Prices for inputs to construction industries declined 0.1 percent in July after increasing 0.2 percent in June, according to the Aug. 14 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Year-over-year prices were down 3 percent in July and have been down on an annual basis for each of the past eight months. Prices of inputs to nonresidential construction industries declined 0.3 percent on a monthly basis and are down 3.9 percent on a yearly basis. 
Read the rest of entry »

Private Construction Industry’s Importance to State Economies

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 8:00 AM
As noted in The Importance of Construction to State Economies, the importance of the construction industry to the national and state economies stretches beyond the direct impact of construction activity. The U.S. economy benefits from purchases related to, but not directly included in, construction projects, such as equipment for a new factory, furniture for an office or residential property, and appliances for commercial and residential units. Based on conservative estimates, these additional purchases add at least 2 percent to 3 percent to the impact of the construction industry on the economy. Read the rest of entry »

Difficulty in Finding Skilled Construction Workers Evident in Jobs Report

Friday, August 7, 2015 11:35 AM
U.S. construction industry employment rose 0.1 percent in July and added 6,000 net new jobs, while the construction unemployment rate shed 0.8 percentage points and now stands at 5.5 percent. Nonresidential construction employment fell by 4,600 jobs in July after losing 800 jobs in June. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors lost 3,700 jobs for the month, while the nonresidential building sector declined by 900 jobs. Residential construction and the heavy and civil engineering segment added 8,200 and 2,900 net new jobs in July, respectively. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Spending Retains Momentum

Monday, August 3, 2015 1:38 PM
Nonresidential construction spending was unchanged on a month-over-month basis in June, but is up 11.5 percent on a year-over-year basis according to the report released Aug. 3 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Nonresidential construction spending totaled $686.9 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis for the month and increased 9.8 percent during the year’s first half. Read the rest of entry »