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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

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 »

June Construction Unemployment Rates Improve in 45 States from 2014

Friday, July 31, 2015 9:00 AM
Construction employment stalled nationally on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis in June. However, as expected, not seasonally adjusted (NSA) employment increased from May. The result was that 38 states experienced a decline in their estimated NSA construction unemployment rate. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Fixed Investment Falls in Second Quarter

Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:49 AM
Nonresidential fixed investment fell by 0.6 percent during the second quarter after expanding by 1.6 percent during the first quarter, according to the July 30 real gross domestic product (GDP) report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). For the economy as a whole, real GDP expanded by 2.3 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) during the second quarter following a 0.6 percent increase during the year’s first quarter. Note that the first quarter estimate for nonresidential fixed investment was revised upward from -3.4 percent annualized growth. Read the rest of entry »

Construction Materials Prices, Dominated by Crisis Economics, Expand Slightly in June

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 11:51 AM
Prices for inputs to construction industries expanded 0.2 percent in June after increasing 1.1 percent in May. Year-over-year prices were down 2.2 percent in June and prices have not increased on an annual basis for the past seven months. The last time this occurred was the third and fourth quarter of 2009 when the global economy was still reeling from the financial crisis; however, June’s year-over-year decline in construction input prices was the smallest of 2015. Prices of inputs to nonresidential construction industries rose 0.3 percent on a monthly basis, but are down 3.6 percent on a yearly basis. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Employment Remains Essentially Unchanged in June

Thursday, July 2, 2015 10:43 AM
U.S. construction industry employment was effectively unchanged in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate released July 2, 2015. May’s estimate was revised downward from 17,000 to 15,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction lost 1,100 jobs in June, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors losing 5,600 jobs and the nonresidential building segment gaining 4,500 jobs. Residential construction shed 2,400 jobs for the months. The heavy and civil engineering segment added 3,800 net new jobs in June. 
Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Spending Continues Growth With Stellar May

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 1:04 PM
Through the first five months of 2015, nonresidential construction spending is having its second best year since the Census Bureau began tracking the metric in 2002. According to the July 1 release, nonresidential construction spending increased 1.1 percent on a month-over-month basis and 8.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, and totals $669.6 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. From January to May, nonresidential spending expanded by 7.1 percent; the only year in which the segment saw faster growth was 2007. Since then, growth over each year’s initial five months has averaged only 1.8 percent. 
Read the rest of entry »

Construction Unemployment Rates Improve in 40 States in May

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 9:00 AM
The non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rate for the country and 40 states declined in May, while the rate for one state (South Carolina) remained unchanged from April. Today’s report provides further evidence that construction and the broader U.S. economy appear to have rebounded from the unusually brutal winter. On an annual basis, construction unemployment rates for 44 of the 50 states fell in May 2015 compared to May 2014. The construction unemployment rate for two states—North Dakota and Utah—were unchanged. Read the rest of entry »

Construction Materials Prices up for May, Down for Year

Friday, June 12, 2015 11:36 AM
Prices for inputs to construction industries expanded by 1.1 percent in May, the largest month-over-month increase in more than two years and only the third time in the past 10 months that construction input prices have grown on a monthly basis. Year-over-year prices fell by 3 percent in May and have now fallen by more than 3 percent in each of the year’s first five months. The last time this occurred was the third and fourth quarter of 2009. Only three of the 11 key construction inputs—nonferrous wire and cable, crude petroleum and crude energy materials—experienced monthly price increases in May. Read the rest of entry »

49 States See Fall in Monthly Construction Unemployment Rate

Monday, June 8, 2015 9:00 AM
The United States economy, along with construction, struggled through the first quarter as the nation was battered with unusually harsh weather. As of the May 29 U.S. Department of Commerce report, real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) fell 0.7% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The June 1 construction spending report showed that nominal (current) dollar construction spending was down 0.5% (SAAR), but on a not seasonally adjusted basis was up 3.7% compared to first quarter 2014. Read the rest of entry »