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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

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.
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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 »

Nonresidential Construction Spending Dips in January

Monday, March 2, 2015 11:35 AM
Nonresidential construction spending fell 2 percent in January, which is the largest setback to spending since January 2014, according to the March 2 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. However, at $614.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, nonresidential construction spending still is 4.8 percent higher than one year ago. In addition, the spending estimate for December 2014 was revised downward from $627.1 billion to $627 billion and November’s figure was revised from $624.8 billion to $621.9 billion. 
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Year-End Construction Backlog Drops 1 Percent

Monday, February 23, 2015 3:33 PM
According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) for the fourth quarter of 2014 declined 0.1 months, or 1 percent.  Despite the quarter-over-quarter decline, backlog ended the year at 8.7 months, which is still 4.4 percent higher than one year ago.  
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Construction Materials Prices Plummet in First Month of 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 10:58 AM
Construction input prices dipped 2 percent in January 2015 and have now failed to rise for six consecutive months, according to the Feb. 18 producer price index (PPI) release from the U.S. Department of Labor. On a year-over-year basis, construction input prices are down 3.6 percent. In addition, nonresidential construction input prices fell 2.1 percent on a monthly basis and 4.6 percent on a yearly basis.
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Strong Jobs Report Boosted by Construction

Friday, February 6, 2015 10:42 AM
The U.S. construction industry added 39,000 jobs in January, including 12,700 net new nonresidential jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary estimate released Feb. 6. December’s estimate was revised downward from 48,000 to 44,000 net new jobs. With revisions, nonresidential construction expanded by 21,200 jobs in December. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Spending Expands in December

Monday, February 2, 2015 1:43 PM
Nonresidential construction spending expanded 0.4 percent on a monthly basis in December 2014, according to the Feb. 2 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Spending for the month totaled $627.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, 5.9 percent higher than December 2013. The government also upwardly revised November’s spending estimate from $617 billion to $624.8 billion and October’s figure from $623 billion to $627.4 billion. Read the rest of entry »

Investment in Nonresidential Structures Expands Moderately in Fourth Quarter

Friday, January 30, 2015 10:22 AM
Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 2.6 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) during the fourth quarter of 2014, following a 5 percent increase in the third quarter according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis Jan. 30 release. Nonresidential fixed investment grew by only 1.9 percent after expanding 8.9 percent in the third quarter. Investment in equipment declined 1.9 percent, while investment in nonresidential structures increased 2.6 percent. Read the rest of entry »