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ABC's Construction Economic Update covers the latest commercial and industrial construction economic news. Delivered electronically, it provides an analysis of the monthly economic indices released by the federal government, including construction spending, employment, the producer price index and the quarterly gross domestic product.  

ABC's 2016 Construction Economic Updates will be delivered according to this schedule.

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For media inquiries, contact Donna Reichle at reichle@abc.org.

Construction Industry Unemployment Rate Dips to 15.7 Percent in February

The construction industry added 48,000 jobs in February—the largest monthly increase since March 2007. Year over year, the industry has added 140,000 jobs, or 2.5 percent, according to the March 8 employment report by the U.S. Labor Department. The construction industry unemployment rate declined to 15.7 percent in February, down from 16.1 percent the previous month and down from 17.1 percent from one year ago.
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Nonresidential Construction Spending Falls 3.3 Percent in January

As further evidence that the nation’s construction industry continues to struggle, nonresidential construction spending fell 3.3 percent in January, with outlays decreasing to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $572.1 billion, according to the March 1 report by the U.S. Census Bureau. Year over year, total nonresidential construction spending is up only 0.8 percent (unadjusted for inflation).
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Construction Materials Prices Increase 0.7 Percent in January

National construction materials prices increased 0.7 percent in January, with year-over-year prices rising 1.3 percent. Nonresidential construction materials prices were up 0.6 percent for the month and 0.8 percent during the last 12 months. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Spending Increases 0.3 Percent in December

The nation’s nonresidential construction spending increased 0.3 percent in December, with outlays increasing to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $570.4 billion, according to the Feb. 1 report by the U.S. Census Bureau. Year over year, total nonresidential construction spending is up 1.2 percent.
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Construction Adds 28,000 Jobs in January, but Unemployment Increases to 16.1 Percent

Despite the addition of 28,000 jobs in January, the nation’s construction industry unemployment rate shot up to 16.1 percent, according to the Feb. 1 employment report by the U.S. Department of Labor. The January rate marks an increase from 13.5 percent in December 2012, but a decrease from 17.7 percent the same time last year. Year over year, construction employment has risen by 102,000 jobs, or 1.8 percent.
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Nonresidential Fixed Investment Up 8.4 Percent

Despite a decline in the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the last quarter of 2012, the Bureau of Economic Analysis Jan. 30 reported nonresidential fixed investment increased 8.4 percent for the fourth quarter as investment in equipment and software jumped 12.4 percent, which outweighed a 1.1 percent decline in investment in structures.  For the year, nonresidential fixed investment increased 7.7 percent, with investment in structures up 9.6 percent and investment in equipment and software up 6.9 percent. 
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Construction Materials Prices Slip 0.1 Percent in December

National construction materials prices barely declined in December—dipping 0.1 percent—and are just 1.3 percent higher than a year ago. Average annual prices in 2012 were 1.9 percent higher than 2011 prices, a reflection of unusual price stability during the course of the year. Nonresidential construction prices were down 0.3 percent in December and are up 0.8 percent year over year.  Annual prices were up 1.7 percent compared to the previous year.
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Nation’s Construction Industry Adds 30,000 Jobs in December

The nation’s construction industry gained 30,000 jobs in December despite an overall increase in the industry unemployment rate, according to the Jan. 4 employment report by the U.S. Labor Department. That is the fastest pace of construction employment growth since February 2011.  
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Nonresidential Construction Spending Slips 0.6 Percent in November

Despite a pent-up demand for construction activity, the nation’s nonresidential construction spending slipped 0.6 percent in November, with outlays decreasing to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $564.1 billion, according to the Jan. 2 report by the U.S. Census Bureau. Year-over-year, total nonresidential construction spending is up 2.9 percent.
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Construction Materials Prices Fall 1.1 Percent in November

In a sign of a weak global economy, the nation’s construction materials prices fell 1.1 percent in November—the largest monthly decrease since February 2009—according to the producer price index report by the U.S. Department of Labor. However, prices are 1 percent higher than the same time last year. Read the rest of entry »