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Industry Pulse: The Latest Construction Data and Statistics

Economic

From Construction Dive

This construction data hub is updated when any of the following five industry reports is released. These charts offer a look at the construction industry’s health over the past two years.

Construction spending

While often revised in subsequent months, construction spending figures each month from the U.S. Commerce Department examine the private and public construction sectors. Within the private sector, the report tracks single-family residential, multifamily residential and nonresidential.

Latest report: February 1, 2019

Next release: TBA

November levels climbed back up after an October dip for a 3.4% year-over-year increase. (U.S. construction spending in trillions of dollars, seasonally adjusted, revised figures)

Credit: Kathleen Brown/Construction Dive, data from CommerceDepartment

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Construction employment

The labor shortage has consistently been a major challenge for construction companies. Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases job gains or losses in the industry and divides the figures into residential and nonresidential sectors.

Latest report: February 1, 2019

Next release: March 8, 2019

January’s net new jobs included 19,000 nonresidential and 15,000 residential positions for net creation of 338,000 over the past 12 months. (U.S. construction employment in thousands of employees)
Credit: Kathleen Brown/Construction Dive, data from Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Construction starts

Projects are growing more complex every year, driving the values of new construction up. Dodge Data & Analytics measures the value of total U.S. construction starts each month, as well as the value of starts in nonresidential, residential and nonbuilding categories.

Latest report: January 24, 2019

Next report: February 2019

After a 7% decline in November, new construction starts continued to slide 10% last month, Dodge found, but 2018 totals edged up just 0.3% from 2017. (Total U.S. construction starts value in billions, seasonally adjusted annual rate)
Credit: Kathleen Brown/Construction Dive, data from Dodge Data & Analytics

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RLB Crane Index

Rider Levett Bucknall’s Crane Index measures the number of cranes present in major North American markets each January and July. We’re tracking construction activity in 10 of the largest U.S. cities RLB tracks as well as their combined crane count every six months.

Latest report: January 2019

Next report: July 2019

RLB’s January survey marks the third consecutive increase in crane counts across the cities they track and forecasts continued growth through 2019.
Credit: Kathleen Brown/Construction Dive, data from Rider Levett Bucknall

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Architecture Billings Index

The ABI, from the American Institute of Architects, serves as an indicator of future construction spending — with a lead time of about nine to 12 months — as design services lead to new commercial projects. Any mark above 50 on the ABI indicates an increase in billings.

Latest report: January 23, 2019

Next release: February 20, 2019

Despite a modestly slowing pace in December, billings increased every month of 2018, AIA found. (Any score above 50 indicates growth).
Credit: Kathleen Brown/Construction Dive, data from American Institute of Architects

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