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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

Construction Materials Prices Remain Tame in April

Thursday, May 14, 2015 11:29 AM
Prices for inputs to construction industries fell by 0.1 percent in April, ending a two month streak during which material prices expanded by greater than 0.4 percent. Prices have now fallen in six of the previous eight months and input prices are also down on a year-over-year basis, falling 4 percent since April 2014. This represents the greatest year-over-year decline since October 2009 and year-over-year input prices have now declined for 5 straight months after expanding in each of the previous 60 months. Prices for inputs to nonresidential construction showed a similar decline, falling 0.1 percent for the month and 5.1 percent year-over-year. Crude petroleum prices expanded for only the second time in the previous ten months, growing by 13.1 percent, the largest month-over-month increase since November 2011. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Bounces Back with the Broader Economy

Friday, May 8, 2015 9:58 AM
The U.S. construction industry added 45,000 jobs in April according to the May 8 Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate. March’s estimate was revised downward from -1,000 to -9,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 12,400 jobs in April, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors leading the way with 20,200 new jobs. Nonresidential building employment plummeted for the month, losing 7,800 jobs. The residential sector bounced back in April, adding 23,600 jobs.   Read the rest of entry »

Year-over-year Construction Unemployment Rate Falls in 41 States

Thursday, May 7, 2015 8:50 AM
March, as is to be expected, provided better weather than February, though some parts of the country were hit with severe storms, including spring snow storms. This resulted in a monthly decrease in the March not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rate for the country and in the estimated construction unemployment rates for 43 states. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Spending Inches Lower in March

Friday, May 1, 2015 11:48 AM
Nonresidential construction spending has now declined during each of the year’s first three months, according to a May 1 report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Fixed Investment’s Winning Streak Shattered in the First Quarter

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 11:25 AM
Nonresidential fixed investment fell 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2015, after expanding 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the April 29 gross domestic product (GDP) report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real GDP expanded just 0.2 percent, on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, during the first quarter, following a 2.2 percent increase during the final quarter of 2014.  Read the rest of entry »

Construction Materials Prices Expand in March

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 11:20 AM
Prices for inputs to construction industries expanded 0.8 percent in March, the largest monthly increase in more than two years, according to the April 14 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prices have now expanded for two consecutive months after declining during the prior six; however input prices are down 3.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. March marks the fourth consecutive month year-over-year input prices have declined, the longest such streak since 2009. Crude petroleum prices fell 4 percent in March and have fallen in eight of the previous nine months. Read the rest of entry »

February Construction Unemployment Down in 44 States Year-Over-Year

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 8:34 AM
Bad weather often typifies February across much of the country and this February’s weather was particularly harsh. The not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rate for the country often peaks around February and the nation appears to be on track for that pattern this year. The February construction unemployment rate for the country along with estimated rates for 34 states increased over their respective January rates. Read the rest of entry »

Background on State Construction Unemployment Rates

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 4:12 PM
Measuring employment and unemployment would seem to be straightforward. However, it turns out to be a little more complicated than it first appears. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) produces the employment statistics for the United States based on a monthly survey conducted by the Census Bureau known as the Current Population Survey (CPS). Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Employment Ticks up Despite Dismal Overall Jobs Report

Friday, April 3, 2015 9:41 AM
Nonresidential construction added 5,000 net new jobs in March, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors leading the way by contributing 4,400 new jobs, according  to the April 3 Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate. As a whole, the U.S. construction industry lost 1,000 jobs in March, while February’s construction employment estimate (29,000 new jobs) was unrevised. The residential sector also regressed in March, losing 2,800 jobs. Read the rest of entry »

Confidence Level Remains Positive During Second Half of 2014

Thursday, April 2, 2015 9:00 AM
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) survey showed a continuing rise in optimism among construction contractors in the second half of 2014. CCI reflects forward-looking construction industry prospects using three measured categories. In the second half of 2014, expectations for profit margin and staffing levels increased, while sales expectations fell. Read the rest of entry »