Construction Employment Increases in 269 Metro Areas Between December 2016, 2017

Construction employment increased in 269 out of 358 metro areas between December 2016 and December 2017, declined in 43 and stagnated in 46, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said new infrastructure funding would help ensure firms continue to expand their headcount in 2018. “Construction employment continues to expand amid robust private-sector demand in many parts of the country,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “But with public-sector funding lagging, there is little doubt that more firms would be able to expand their headcount this year … Read more

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Strong Economy, Weaker Dollar Help Construction Materials Prices Recover in January

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Overall construction input prices increased 1.1 percent in January, reversing a slight decline in December 2017, according to a recently released Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Compared to this time last year, overall construction materials prices are up 4.9 percent. Nonresidential construction materials prices are up 4.7 percent year over year and up 1 percent on a monthly basis. The price of natural gas fell 13.1 percent in January and is down 31 percent on a year-over-year basis. In stark contrast, the price of crude petroleum rose 11.6 percent in January … Read more

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Strong Level of Construction Activity Across U.S. Continues to Drive Increase in Construction Costs

According to Turner Construction Company’s quarterly Building Cost Index, the busy construction market, shortages of skilled labor and the impact of natural disasters on material production and demand are putting upward pressure on construction costs. Officials with Turner Construction Company announced that the Fourth Quarter 2017 Turner Building Cost Index—which measures costs in the non-residential building construction market in the United States—has increased to a value of 1058. This represents a 1.34 percent quarterly increase from the Third Quarter 2017 and a 5.17 percent yearly increase from the Fourth Quarter 2016. “We saw slight cost increases for select raw materials … Read more

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Construction Spending Rises for Fifth Month in a Row in December, Private Investment Climbs in 2017

Construction spending increased for a fifth consecutive month in December as private residential and nonresidential investment for the year topped 2016 totals, while declining infrastructure spending dragged down public-sector outlays, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said federal, state and local officials should address the growing shortfall in transportation, water and wastewater infrastructure in order to sustain economic growth and improve public health and safety. “Construction spending ended the year on a high note, with gains over November levels for all major categories, but the annual totals for 2017 … Read more

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