Construction Industry Ends 2020 with an Uptick in Jobs

The construction industry ended 2020 on a positive note with the addition of 51,000 net new jobs in December and a recovery of more than 79% of construction jobs lost since the pandemic struck the U.S. Nonresidential construction employment was behind the industry's gain, adding 29,000 net jobs.According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)...
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Congress Closing in on Additional COVID-19 Relief

As of the morning of Dec. 17, Congress has yet to reach a final deal on the next COVID-19 relief package and omnibus government funding bill, but leadership worked through the night and has reportedly made significant progress. All signs point to a deal on Friday or over the weekend, averting a government shutdown and providing some COVID-19 relief...
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Steady Construction Input Prices Could Change in 2021

Contractors saw a 0.5% decline in construction input prices in November, a slight increase over the prior year. Although Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu described the price drop as "a natural growth of a strong economic rebound," there's still a possibility of a resurgence in prices next year.Softwood lumber w...
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Dodge Momentum Index Falls in November

The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) saw a slight step back in November, the second straight month with a decline. The Momentum Index from Dodge Data & Analytics, which measures nonresidential building projects at their first reporting, fell 2.6%."Uncertainty over the potential for further federal stimulus has significantly complicated the recovery a...
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Nonresidential Construction Adds More Jobs

The construction industry is likely to see a slowdown in the coming winter months, but a promising start was shown in November in part by the addition of 27,000 net new jobs. According to Associated Builders and Contractors' (ABC) analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the latest round of new jobs brings the industry's new added job tota...
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Existing-Home Sales Increase in October

Existing-home sales continue to climb as housing inventory dwindles in the U.S. For the fifth straight month, sales increased in October, according to the National Association of Realtors. The seasonally adjusted rate of 6.85 million is 4.3% ahead of September, 26.6% above October 2019 and at its highest pace in 14 years. "The surge in sales in rec...
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Winter Slowdown-Pandemic Combo a New Hurdle for Construction

Winter is coming and that means the inevitable slowdown in construction is not far behind. Depending upon specialties, some construction companies fare better than others during the winter months, but slight declines in overall business are common during the industry's offseason. What remains uncharted territory for many in the sector is the combin...
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Construction Input Prices 'Virtually Unchanged' in October

The common proverb, "No news is good news," rang true for the construction industry last month after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Producer Price Index found input prices were "virtually unchanged," according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Although construction input prices increased just over 1% in October year over year (YOY...
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Dodge Momentum Index Sees First Decline Since Summer

The Dodge Momentum Index saw a slight slip in October, falling for the first time since June. The Index declined 1.8%, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The Momentum Index measures the initial report of nonresidential projects in planning, which has been an indicator for nonresidential construction spending."Economic growth has slowed over t...
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Construction Unemployment Makes Strands in October, But Still Needs Work

October proved to be another successful month for the construction industry, adding 84,000 net new jobs and bringing the sector's unemployment rate to 6.8%. According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the industry has fared well over the past six months with a 73% recovery of jobs lost during the early days of COVID-19. Analysts say non...
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Construction Spending Slows, Still Increases in September

Construction spending continued to increase in September, but outlays have slowed slightly. Total construction spending increased 0.3% in September compared to August, according to this week's release from the Census Bureau. Spending is also above September 2019 by 1.5%. However, the improvement slowed from August 2020 when spending increased by 0....
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Price of Softwood Lumber, Natural Gas Increase By Double-Digit Percentages in September

September brought about an increase in construction input prices in large part due to the rising cost of softwood lumber, which has become 80% more costly than in September 2019. In Associated Builders and Contractors' (ABC) latest analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' data, September 2020's Producer Price Index revealed construction input p...
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September Existing-Home Sales Skyrocket

Existing-home sales continued surge in September, but the demand is outweighing the supply. Sales jumped 9.4%, according to the National Association of Realtors. Each of the four regions also saw increases month to month and year to year. "Home sales traditionally taper off toward the end of the year, but in September they surged beyond what we nor...
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Retail Sales Climb Higher Than Expected

Retail sales are on the rise again, and sales are faring better than expected. According to the Census Bureau, U.S. retail and food services sales in September increased 1.9% from August. Data is also 5.4% higher than September 2019. Sales between July and September 2020 were ahead 3.6% compared to the same period in 2019.Across the board, sales im...
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Construction Industry Concerned Over Pandemic’s Long-Term Impacts

Eight months into the pandemic, construction professionals are raising concerns over potential long-term impacts leading into the coming year. Associated Builders and Contractors' Construction Executive magazine recently conducted a survey highlighting the top concerns, including "supply chain disruptions, prolonged municipal permitting processes a...
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Dodge Momentum Index Increases in September

The Dodge Momentum Index is on the rise again after a 3.7% increase in September. The nonresidential construction spending indicator from Dodge Data & Analytics saw both the commercial and institutional components improve as well. The Index measures the initial report of nonresidential building projects in planning. The commercial aspect increa...
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Construction Spending Climbs in August

Construction spending in the U.S. is near levels seen at the beginning of the year. The Census Bureau announced earlier this week that construction spending in August increased 1.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,412.8 billion. This is also 2.5% above the August 2019 data. "A robust rise in residential more than offset a small decline i...
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New Home Sales Hit 14-Year High

New single-family homes in the U.S. are flying off the market, soaring to a 14-year high, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.011 million in August, which is 4.8% higher than July and 43.2% above August 2019.Economists predicted sales would decline ...
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Another Rise in Construction Input Prices

Construction input prices rose once again in August by more than half of a percent, according to Associated Builders and Contractors, where Chief Economist Anirban Basu said inflation is "a bit hotter than anticipated."Based on the latest results from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Producer Price Index, construction input prices and inputs to...
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Some Not So Good News Mixed in with the Better

How is that for classic economic equivocation? You know the mantra by now, never assert you know anything for sure other than the past. Even then, be sure to keep your options open. The reality is that there are rarely moments when one can assert that a $20 trillion-dollar economy is either all good or all bad.Even in the darkest days of the l...
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