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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

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 »

Nonresidential Construction Spending Flat in February

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 12:21 PM
Blame it on the weather – that is what many economists have been doing over the past two months as economic data continue to disappoint. Retail sales, durable goods orders and other categories have not been as strong as anticipated.  Read the rest of entry »

State Construction Unemployment Rates January Data Update

Monday, March 30, 2015 8:03 AM
The construction industry has shown evidence of recovery and appears to be on a mild upward trajectory despite occasional backsliding. In 2014, construction spending for all the major areas rose faster than the rise in construction costs. Last year also marked the fourth year in a row that construction employment grew and the largest annual advance in construction employment since 2005. Read the rest of entry »

State Construction Unemployment Rates December 2014

Friday, March 27, 2015 3:58 PM
The national construction unemployment rate has generally reflected the fortunes of the construction industry. The national construction unemployment rate fell from 2004 through 2006 then began to rise in 2007 and jumped sharply in 2008 and 2009. Since 2010, there has been a slow, gradual improvement. December’s 8.3% unemployment rate is the lowest December rate since 2005’s 8.2% rate. Read the rest of entry »

The Importance of Construction to State Economies

Monday, March 23, 2015 4:08 PM
From 1997 through 2013 (the latest year for which annual data are available), the value added by the private construction industry as a percentage of national gross domestic product (GDP) declined from a high of 6.14% (in 1997 and 1998) to a low of 3.69% in 2011 and then rose to the still-too-low 3.73% in 2013. Although this is an accurate look at the sector, it understates the impact of the construction industry on the economy.
Read the rest of entry »

Construction Materials Prices Rise for First Time in Six Months

Friday, March 13, 2015 9:52 AM
The largest monthly gain in petroleum prices in over three years caused construction materials prices to expand 0.4 percent in February, ending a six-month streak when prices failed to rise, according to the March 13 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On a year-over-year basis, construction input prices fell 3.9 percent. Nonresidential construction input prices also rose 0.4 percent on a monthly basis and 4.9 percent on a yearly basis. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Employment Up Again Despite Weather, Oil Price Fluctuations

Friday, March 6, 2015 11:45 AM
The U.S. construction industry added 29,000 jobs in February, according to the March 6 Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate. In addition, January’s construction estimate was revised upward from 39,000 to 49,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction added 12,000 net new jobs in February, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors and nonresidential building adding jobs while the heavy and civil engineering segment reduced employment. Read the rest of entry »