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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. Methodology for both indicators can be found hereABC construction economic releases are published according to this schedule 



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From the category archives: Construction Economics

Construction Economics

March Construction Unemployment Rates Improve in 30 States from 2015

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 9:00 AM
The March not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rates for the country and 30 states were lower than in March 2015, according to analysis by economist Bernard Markstein released today by Associated Builders and Contractors. March’s 0.8 percent decrease from a year ago marked five and a half years of consecutive monthly year-over-year rate declines. Meanwhile, March national NSA employment in construction was 298,000 higher than in March 2015.

Read the rest of entry »

Contractor Confidence Down, But Not Out

Thursday, April 14, 2016 8:43 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 14—Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) showed a slight dip in the second half of 2015, although all three components of the index showed optimism for continued economic growth. The diffusion index measures forward-looking construction industry expectations in sales, profit margins and staffing levels, with readings above 50 indicating growth. Read the rest of entry »

Construction Material Prices Rise for First Time in Nine Months

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 11:06 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13-Construction input prices rose on a monthly basis in March for the first time in nine months according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Producer Price Index released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Input prices expanded 0.9 percent on a monthly basis in March but are still down 3.4 percent on a year-over-year basis. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Spending Slip in February No Cause for Alarm

Friday, April 1, 2016 11:27 AM
Nonresidential construction spending dipped in February, falling 1.4 percent on a monthly basis according to analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Spending in the nonresidential sector totaled $690.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis in February. While this represents a step back from January’s figure of $700.3 billion (revised down from $701.9 billion), it is still 1.5 percent higher than the level of spending registered in December 2015 and 10.1 percent higher than February 2015.   Read the rest of entry »

Construction Remains One of Economy’s Bright Spots

Friday, April 1, 2016 11:05 AM
The U.S. construction industry added 37,000 net new jobs in March according to an analysis of today’s  the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics release by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). On a year-over-year basis, construction employment expanded by 301,000 net new jobs, the industry’s largest annual increase since May 2015.  The industry added 20,000 net new jobs in February (revised upward from 19,000) and 18,000 net new jobs in January. Read the rest of entry »

February Construction Unemployment Rates Improve in 41 States from 2015

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 9:00 AM
Temperatures remained above normal for much of the country in February. However, precipitation rates were also above normal for much of the East and below normal for much of the West and parts of the South. These factors contributed to the not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rates for the nation maintaining a low February rate of 8.7 percent, a slight rise from January’s similarly low 8.5 percent rate. It was also the second lowest February national construction
unemployment rate going back to the beginning of the series in 2000, surpassed only by the 8.6 percent rate in February 2006. Read the rest of entry »

January Construction Unemployment Rates Improve in 43 States from 2015

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 8:30 AM
Unusually mild weather in much of the country continued into the first part of January but ended for the East near the end of the month with the brutal storm dubbed “Snowzilla.” The storm did not hit until after the reference week used for surveying employment and unemployment. This undoubtedly helped to temper the normal rise in the not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rates for the nation, which rose from a relatively low December rate of 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent in January. This is the lowest January national construction unemployment rate going back to the beginning of the series in January 2000. Read the rest of entry »

Construction Backlog Expands Nearly 3 Percent at the Close of 2015

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 8:50 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 22 – The South posted the highest backlog in the history of the Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Read the rest of entry »

Construction Material Prices Continue Free Fall in February

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 12:05 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 15— Construction input prices fell for the eighth consecutive month during February 2016 according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Read the rest of entry »

Construction Employment Growth Slow but Steady

Friday, March 4, 2016 11:58 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C., March, 4—The U.S. construction industry added 19,000 net new jobs in February according to an analysis of today's U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment release by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Year-over-year, the industry has added 253,000 net new jobs, an increase of 4 percent. The nonresidential sector added only 2,800 net new jobs in February after adding 3,600 jobs in January (revised upward from 2,900). Nonresidential specialty trade contractors lost jobs for the second consecutive month, while residential specialty trade contractors added 13,800 net new jobs in February—more than the other four subsectors combined. The civil and heavy engineering category continued its tepid growth, adding just 700 net new jobs for the month. Read the rest of entry »