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By: Alex Carrick on September 16th, 2021

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August's Nonresidential Construction Starts -14% M/M, -11% Y/Y, & -6% YTD

Economic News | Industry Snapshot

High-Tech Giants Step to the Plate

ConstructConnect announced today that August 2021's volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $33.0 billion (see shaded green box, bottom of Table 8 below) a decrease of -14.2% vs July 2021's level of $38.5 billion (originally reported as $37.6 billion).

August's Nonresidential Construction Starts -14% M/M, -11% Y/Y & -6% YTD

Compared with August 2020, the latest month’s nonresidential starts were -11.1%. On a year-to-date basis, they were -6.4%. GRAND TOTAL starts in August 2021 (i.e., including residential activity) were -2.3% m/m, +4.5% y/y and +6.0% ytd.   


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Click here to download the complete Construction Industry Snapshot Package - August 2021 PDF.

Several of the biggest construction project initiations in the latest month were carried out by the high-tech giants. The ‘Top 10’ projects list (see Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. - August 2021) of this report records go-aheads for two Facebook data centers, one in Mesa, Arizona and the other in Prineville, Oregon, plus a Google data center in Kansas City, Missouri. Among the next ten biggest project starts in August—in other words, projects that would have appeared if the list had been expanded to become a Top 20 list—were three Amazon fulfillment centers, in Pataskala, Ohio; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Rochester, New York. Each of the Amazon projects is projected to exceed a million square feet.

During the pandemic, low-rise light industrial and commercial building construction has flourished. Elaborating further there’s been strong owner support for data and distribution centers. Demand for new shopping malls, however, has been skimpy.

The standout project started in August of last year was the $2.3 billion motor vehicle battery plant in Warren, Ohio green-lighted by General Motors Corporation.

Three Divergent Construction Paths

Starts year to date in 2021, according to the three major type-of-structure categories, have diverged markedly. Residential starts have been ahead by a quarter, +24.6%; heavy engineering/civil starts have been flat, +0.8%; and nonresidential building starts have had trouble finding the light, -10.9%.  

On a month-to-month basis in August, residential starts continued to forge ahead, +12.9%; engineering retreated significantly, -25.9%; and nonresidential building pulled back only a little, -3.5%.

Trailing 12-Month (TTM) Results on the Mend

Other statistics often beloved by analysts are trailing twelve-month (TTM) results and these are set out for all the various type-of-structure categories in Table 10 on page 11 of this report. Grand Total TTM starts in August on a month-to-month basis were +0.4%, compared with +1.0% in July and +0.8% in June. On a year-over-year basis in August, GT TTM starts were -1.7% versus -4.5% in July and -7.1% in June. These latest three y/y percent changes may still be negative, but the trend is moving in a healthier (less distressed) direction.

Even Split for Residential and Nonres in the PIP Stats

‘Starts’ compile the total estimated dollar value and square footage of all projects on which ground is broken in any given month. They lead, by nine months to as much as two years, put-in-place (PIP) statistics which are analogous to work-in-progress payments as the building of structures proceeds to completion.

PIP numbers cover the ‘universe’ of construction, new plus all manner of renovation activity, with residential traditionally making up two-fifths (about 40%) of the total and nonresidential, three-fifths (i.e., the bigger portion, at around 60%). Presently, though, according to the Census Bureau’s July 2021 not-seasonally-adjusted (NSA) PIP numbers for the total United States, the year-to-date mix has shifted dramatically. The residential to nonresidential relationship has become approximately half and half (i.e., 49.3%-to-50.7% respectively). The Census Bureau’s July 2021 NSA ytd PIP results are +6.2% for total; +25.3%, residential; and -7.5%, nonresidential (i.e., nonresidential buildings plus engineering).   

PIP numbers, being more spread out, usually have smaller peak-over-trough percent-change amplitudes than the ‘starts’ series. As an additional valuable service for clients and powered by its extensive ‘starts’ database, ConstructConnect, in partnership with Oxford Economics, a world-leader in econometric modeling, has developed put-in-place construction statistics by types of structure for U.S. states, cities, and counties, ‘actuals’ and forecasts. ConstructConnect’s PIP numbers are being released quarterly and are featured in a separate reporting system.

Site Work Jobs Count has become Mired Down

Total employment by U.S. general and trade contractors was scaled back by -3,000 jobs in August. (The nominal change in U.S. total employment in August was +235,000.) The construction sector has added only +16,000 jobs in the current year, and that’s been thanks to March’s strong uptick of +93,000 jobs. Leave out March and the year-to-date sitework jobs figure deteriorates to -77,000. Nevertheless, the not seasonally adjusted (NSA) unemployment rate in construction in the latest month tightened to 4.6% from 6.1% in July. In August 2020, it had been 7.6%. (The U.S. ‘all jobs’ NSA unemployment rate is currently 5.2%.)

Construction currently ranks a lowly eighth among a dozen major industrial sectors for year-over-year jobs gain. Construction’s +2.7% places it just ahead of retail, at +2.2%, and a tad behind manufacturing, +2.9%. The leisure and hospitality sector has undertaken the greatest hiring spurt, +17.4% y/y. Other corners of the economy with close ties to construction have managed the following y/y increases in employment: architectural and engineering services, +5.3%; real estate firms, +5.0%; machinery and equipment rental and leasing, +4.8%; mining and logging, +3.1%; building material and supplies dealers, -0.8%; and cement and concrete product manufacturing, -2.3%. The +5.3% figure for project design firms augurs well for more construction crews being required in the field once authorizations to proceed are granted.

Graph 1: Change in Level of U.S. Construction Employment, Month to Month (M/M) −
Total & by Categories - August 2021

Construction hiring in July originated with residential general contractors (+8,000 jobs) and nonresidential sub-trades (also +8,000).
For each month, 'net' = zero. 'Sub-trade' in BLS data referred to as 'specialty' trade.
Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 2: U.S. Employment August 2021 - % Change Y/Y
Based on Seasonally Adjusted (SA) Data

The big drops in employment last year are now contributing to larger than normal percentage gains this year. The base or denominator in the y/y % change calculation will remain restrained for a while.
The latest data points are for August 2021.
Data source: Payroll Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 3: Y/Y Jobs Change, U.S. Total Industry & Major Subsectors − August 2021 (based on seasonally adjusted payroll data)

July 2021's y/y changes in employment within the hardest-hit sector, 'leisure & hospitality', were: 'hotels/motels', +28.4%; 'restaurants & bars', +15.2%; and 'amusements/gambling', +26.5%.
Data source: Payroll Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Dept of Labor).
Chart: ConstructConnect.
Graph 4: Sales by U.S Building Material & Supplies Dealers
The background numbers for this graph are a subset derived from a broader designation that includes garden equipment. Also, the reported data for sales by 'building material & supplies dealers' alone is always a month behind. Latest (May 2021) results were +10.9% y/y, but -4.7% m/m.
Data source: Census Bureau.
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Table 1: Monitoring the U.S. employment recovery ‒ August 2021

Monitoring the U.S. employment recovery ‒ August 2021 Chart
Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Pluses and Minuses among the Type of Structure Subcategories

August’s -14.2% month-to-month (m/m) decline in total nonresidential starts resulted from drops of -57.4% in industrial and -25.9% in engineering. Commercial stayed about even, +0.9%, while institutional notched a slight win, +6.7%.  

The -11.1% step back in August 2021’s total nonresidential starts versus August 2020 (y/y) was due to industrial taking a big tumble, -74.5%, and institutional and commercial also faltering, -12.5% and -10.1% respectively. Engineering made a modest gain, +7.3%.

The slide in total nonresidential starts year to date (Jan-Aug 2021/Jan-Aug 2020) of -6.4% owes its negative result to pullbacks of almost equal magnitude in industrial (-11.5%), commercial (-11.3%), and institutional (-11.2%), with engineering being slightly better than even (+0.8%).

There are two subcategories, that when added together, account for a smidge more than one-third of total nonresidential starts year to date, educational with a share of 16.3% and roads/highways with a share of 18.2%. The important time frame metrics for school starts in August were +10.4% m/m; but -1.3% y/y; and -15.1% ytd. Street starts were off by -26.5% m/m, but they were +14.3% y/y and +6.6% ytd.   

The category with the third-largest share of total nonresidential starts ytd is ‘water/sewage’. It also suffered a setback m/m in August (-11.2%), but it showed well y/y (+16.1%) and ytd (+11.2%).

Medical facility starts, combining the three subcategories of hospitals/clinics, nursing/assisted living, and miscellaneous medical provided a 7.2% share of total nonresidential starts ytd in August. Groundbreakings in the combined health care category in the latest month were +9.0% m/m, -29.8% y/y and +0.4% ytd. Hospital/clinic starts on their own in August were +27.4% ytd.

Among other sub-categories of starts, good year-to-date performances have been turned in by retail/shopping (+8.1%), amusement (+12.8%), government offices (+24.3%), and miscellaneous commercial (+11.1%—see Coachella Valley arena in the Top 10 projects list). Poor year-to-date performances have been registered by hotels/motels (-42.3%), private offices (-32.3%), religious (-37.5%), bridges (-23.5%) and dam/marine work (-18.7%).

Table 2: Construction Starts in Some Additional Type of Structure Sub-Categories

  Jan-AUG 2021 % Change vs
  ($ billions) Jan-AUG 2020
     
Sports Stadiums/Convention Centers $3.016 -19.3%
Transportation Teminals $2.925 81.5%
Courthouses $1.688 42.0%
Police Stations & Fire Halls $1.933 -10.2%
Prisons $1.483 -12.6%
Pre-School/Elementary $12.506 -21.4%
Junior & Senior High Schools $19.936 -10.3%
     K-12  (sum of above two categories) $32.442 -14.9%
Special & Vocational Schools $1.201 -18.3%
Colleges & Universities $10.034 -15.4%
Electric Power Infrastructure $7.335 144.4%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

JOLTS Numbers Boost Inflationary Expectations

The monthly JOLTS statistics are exposing a glaring discrepancy. Job ‘openings’ in the construction sector, both as a level and a rate, are presently quite elevated, although they eased off in the latest month for which data is available, July. But ‘hires’, as a level and even more so as a rate, have descended markedly over most of the past little while, although they managed small upward jogs in July.         

The problem of finding willing and qualified workers is cropping up in many sectors throughout the economy. Among the best tried and true answers to a labor shortage has always been to offer better wages. This adds one more underlying concern when assessing inflationary expectations.  

Graph 5: U.S. Construction Job Openings (from JOLTS Report)
(3-month Moving Averages placed in Latest Month)

A big drop in construction job 'openings' began a year before the arrival of the coronavirus in Spring 2020. But then once the slide halted, the 'openings' curves (for both level and rate) began climbing steeply once again.
*Rate is number of job openings end-of-month as % of 'construction employment plus number of job openings'.
Latest seasonally adjusted data points are for July 2021. ... JOLTS = Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 6: U.S. Construction Job Hires (from JOLTS Report)
(3-month Moving Averages placed in Latest Month)

Construction job 'openings' may be abundant (as they are in many industries), but they are not translating into new 'hires'. Sign-ups of construction workers have recently diminished significantly as a level and even more so as a rate.
*Rate is number of job openings end-of-month as % of 'construction employment plus number of job openings'.
Latest seasonally adjusted data points are for July 2021. ... JOLTS = Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

A Wealth of Interesting Stories in Starts Trend Lines

The 12-month moving average trend graphs (Nonresidential Construction Starts Trend Graphs - August 2021) are telling interesting stories.

The descent in the nonresidential curve appears to have slowed considerably and heavy engineering is turning upwards. The institutional slide is continuing, but commercial’s tailspin is finally reversing.

The descent in private office buildings hasn’t relented, but after years of plummeting, retail has turned the corner. School/college starts, expressed as a trend line, are still in the doldrums. Hospitals/clinics, though, are moving sideways.

Roads/highways and water/sewage are heading upwards. Bridges, however, are on a downslope. Miscellaneous civil, after descending steeply (due to some mega projects dropping out of the 12-month moving average calculation), have moved into a holding pattern.

Y/Y Cost of Labor Wage Closing in on +5% 

Tables B-3 and B-8 of the monthly Employment Situation report from the BLS record average hourly and average weekly wages for industry sectors. B-3 is for all employees (i.e., including bosses) on nonfarm payrolls. B-8 is for ‘production and non-supervisory personnel’ only (i.e., it excludes bosses). For ‘all jobs’ and construction, there are eight relevant percentage changes to consider.

From Table B3 (including bosses), ‘all jobs’ earnings y/y in August were +4.3% both hourly and weekly. For construction workers, as a subset of ‘all jobs,’ the compensation hikes were somewhat lower, but not by much, +3.9% hourly and +3.7% weekly. From Table B8 (excluding bosses), the ‘all jobs’ year-over-year earnings gains were +4.8% hourly and +5.4% weekly. Again, construction workers were left a little behind, +4.5% hourly, and +4.7% weekly.

There’s a significant takeaway from these compensation figures. Earlier during the past decade, wage increases, both generally and in construction, ranged between +2.0% and +3.0% y/y. They are now creeping towards +5.0% y/y. Lately, when considering the challenges facing the contracting community, there’s been a tendency to fixate on rising material costs. Also warranting a careful look, though, are rising charges for the other key input component, labor.

Graph 7: Average Hourly Earnings Y/Y - 'All Jobs' & Construction
Analysts will be keeping a sharp eye on earnings. They're a reflection of overall economic activity. Perhaps more important, though, they can provide an early warning of mounting behind-the-scenes inflationary pressure.
From ‘Production Workers and Non-supervisory Personnel’ Table (B8).
The latest data points are for August 2021
Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s Employment Situation report.
Chart: ConstructConnect.
Graph 8: Average Weekly Earnings Y/Y - 'All Jobs' & Construction
U.S. construction's total jobs count in July increased vs June by +11,000. The sector's latest not seasonally adjusted (NSA) unemployment rate was 6.1% compared with the prior month's 7.5%. A year ago, in July 2020, it had been 8.9%.
From ‘Production Workers and Nonsupervisory Personnel’ Table (B8).
The latest data points are for August 2021
Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s Employment Situation report.
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Table 3: 2021 YTD Ranking of Top 20 States by $ Volume of Nonresidential Construction Starts - ConstructConnect

    Jan-AUG 2021 % Change vs Jan-AUG 2020
       
1 Texas $32,264,339,105 -5.9%
2 California $23,273,084,894 -15.2%
3 Florida $15,527,201,089 -2.3%
4 New York $14,558,736,254 4.7%
5 Ohio $10,262,825,266 -11.6%
6 Pennsylvania $9,451,559,782 29.0%
7 North Carolina $8,951,907,524 24.1%
8 Illinois $8,939,464,278 -20.6%
9 Massachusetts $8,593,616,299 22.8%
10 Georgia $8,364,930,446 -11.1%
11 Minnesota $7,486,009,987 15.6%
12 Tennessee $6,799,165,128 19.9%
13 Missouri $6,773,389,232 -9.1%
14 Michigan $6,525,725,841 14.0%
15 Virginia $6,337,808,322 -19.5%
16 Washington $5,721,659,702 -48.3%
17 Arizona $5,455,981,701 -11.5%
18 Wisconsin $5,316,485,037 -24.6%
19 Indiana $5,213,150,972 -12.1%
20 Colorado $5,181,292,940 -4.0%

Figures are comprised of non-res building & engineering (residential is omitted).

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

Table 4: 2021 YTD Ranking of Top 20 States by $ Volume of Nonresidential Building Construction Starts - ConstructConnect

    Jan-AUG 2021 % Change vs Jan-AUG 2020
       
1 Texas $18,672,229,026 -18.5%
2 California $13,063,579,760 -7.4%
3 Florida $9,613,241,227 -7.7%
4 New York $9,036,378,681 -7.6%
5 North Carolina $6,555,083,894 16.4%
6 Pennsylvania $6,525,682,460 70.8%
7 Ohio $6,251,244,382 -19.3%
8 Georgia $5,521,955,048 -14.2%
9 Tennessee $5,382,425,342 29.7%
10 Virginia $4,522,447,724 -5.3%
11 Arizona $4,508,297,822 -3.9%
12 Missouri $4,490,484,541 -20.7%
13 Illinois $4,233,672,300 -30.8%
14 Massachusetts $3,821,745,607 -26.0%
15 Washington $3,567,211,527 -25.1%
16 Alabama $3,509,864,451 44.5%
17 Colorado $3,316,505,655 -6.9%
18 Maryland $3,059,006,409 -18.2%
19 Michigan $2,856,436,093 -13.9%
20 New Jersey $2,840,012,643 7.0%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

Table 5: 2021 YTD Ranking of Top 20 States by $ Volume of Heavy/Engineering Civil Construction Starts - ConstructConnect

    Jan-AUG 2021 % Change vs Jan-AUG 2020
       
1 Texas $13,592,110,079 19.5%
2 California $10,209,505,134 -23.5%
3 Florida $5,913,959,862 8.1%
4 New York $5,522,357,573 33.8%
5 Minnesota $5,451,842,973 59.1%
6 Massachusetts $4,771,870,692 160.9%
7 Illinois $4,705,791,978 -8.5%
8 Ohio $4,011,580,884 3.6%
9 Michigan $3,669,289,748 52.4%
10 Pennsylvania $2,925,877,322 -16.6%
11 Wisconsin $2,877,035,467 12.3%
12 Georgia $2,842,975,398 -4.4%
13 Indiana $2,412,642,095 -6.7%
14 North Carolina $2,396,823,630 51.3%
15 Missouri $2,282,904,691 28.0%
16 Washington $2,154,448,175 -65.8%
17 New Jersey $2,136,808,473 -15.2%
18 Iowa $1,882,567,211 -10.4%
19 Colorado $1,864,787,285 1.5%
20 Maine $1,821,080,242 120.0%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

Lumber Prices Recede, Other Material Costs Skyrocket

August 2021’s y/y results for three structures-related BLS Producer Price Index (PPI) series were as follows: ‘construction materials special index,’ +31.1% (an enormous increase, but not quite as high as July’s +33.1%); ‘inputs to new construction index, excluding capital investment, labor, and imports,’ +21.0% (again, a huge jump, but also a small step back from the previous month’s figure, +25.4%) and ‘final demand construction,’ designed to capture bid prices, +5.0% (a little more robust than July’s +4.5%).

Concerning the cost of some major construction material inputs, as revealed in the Producer Price Index (PPI) data set published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), softwood lumber in August was -9.8% (it had been +154.3% just three months ago in May); hot rolled steel bars, plates, and structural shapes, +49.0% y/y; aluminum sheet and strip, +41.7%; copper wire and cable, +31.4%; and gypsum products, +22.9%.

The value of construction starts each month is derived from ConstructConnect’s database of all active construction projects in the United States. Missing project values are estimated with the help of RSMeans’ building cost models. ConstructConnect’s nonresidential construction starts series, because it is comprised of total-value estimates for individual projects, some of which are super-large, has a history of being more volatile than many other leading indicators for the economy. 

Graph 9: U.S. Construction Bid Prices vs Material Input Costs - July 2021
U.S. Construction Material Cost Changes
Latest data points are for July 2021.
Chart: ConstructConnect.
Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Producer Price Index data set.
Chart: ConstructConnect.

August 2021’s ‘Grand Total’ Starts +6.0% YTD

From Table 8 below, ConstructConnect’s total residential starts in August were +12.9% m/m, +25.9% y/y and +24.6% ytd. Multi-family starts are beginning to display some perkiness. In the latest month, they may have been -0.4% y/y, but they were +7.1% m/m and +6.4% ytd. Blazing the brightest trail, though, have been single-family starts, +14.4% m/m, +34.4% y/y and +31.9% ytd. Including home building with all nonresidential categories, Grand Total starts in August 2021 were -2.3% m/m, +4.5% y/y, and +6.0% ytd.

ConstructConnect adopts a research-assigned ‘start’ date. In concept, a ‘start’ is equivalent to ground being broken for a project to proceed. If work is abandoned or re-bid, the ‘start’ date is revised to reflect the new information.


Expansion Index Monitors Construction Prospects 

The economy may be in recovery mode, but nonresidential work is usually a lagging player. Companies are hesitant to undertake capital spending until their personnel needs are rapidly expanding and their office square footage or plant footprints are straining capacity. Also, it helps if profits are abundant. (Today’s greater tendency to work from home has made office occupancy much more difficult to assess.)

Each month, ConstructConnect publishes information on upcoming construction projects at its Expansion Index.

The Expansion Index, for hundreds of cities in the United States and Canada, calculates the ratio, based on dollar volume, of projects in the planning stage, at present, divided by the comparable figure a year ago. The ratio moves above 1.0 when there is currently a larger dollar volume of construction ‘prospects’ than there was last year at the same time. The ratio sinks below 1.0 when the opposite is the case. The results are set out in interactive maps for both countries.


Click here to download the Construction Industry Snapshot Package - August 2021 PDF.

Click here for the Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. - August 2021.

Click here for the Nonresidential Construction Starts Trend Graphs - August 2021.

TABLE 6: VALUE OF UNITED STATES NONRESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION STARTS
AUGUST 2021 – CONSTRUCTCONNECT

    % Change   % Change   % Change
  Jan-AUG 21 Jan-AUG 21 vs    AUG 21 vs   AUG 21 vs
  ($ billions) Jan-AUG 20   AUG 20   JUL 21
             
Hotel/Motel 4.502 -42.3%   -29.6%   -40.4%
Retail 9.137 8.1%   31.9%   85.4%
Parking Garage 1.261 -1.2%   -12.9%   -9.7%
Amusement 4.762 12.8%   53.5%   -50.6%
Private Office  11.722 -32.3%   -29.7%   37.2%
Government Office 8.365 24.3%   37.6%   -42.6%
Laboratory 1.400 -1.4%   139.6%   23.6%
Warehouse 15.605 -13.9%   -30.2%   4.3%
Miscellaneous Commercial* 5.941 11.1%   -10.8%   112.9%
COMMERCIAL (big subset) 62.695 -11.3%   -10.1%   0.9%
             
INDUSTRIAL (Manufacturing) 12.955 -11.5%   -74.5%   -57.4%
             
Religious 0.651 -37.5%   38.3%   299.7%
Hospital/Clinic 11.106 27.4%   -35.9%   -19.5%
Nursing/Assisted Living 3.973 -19.5%   -34.7%   95.6%
Library/Museum 1.726 -44.3%   -52.0%   -66.6%
Police/Courthouse/Prison 5.104 1.3%   -36.6%   2.6%
Military 5.614 -3.4%   -1.1%   -3.3%
School/College 43.676 -15.1%   -1.3%   10.4%
Miscellaneous Medical 4.192 -24.3%   -10.6%   19.8%
INSTITUTIONAL 76.044 -11.2%   -12.5%   6.7%
             
Miscellaneous Nonresidential 3.931 4.6%   -22.4%   -28.4%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 155.625 -10.9%   -20.6%   -3.5%
             
Airport 3.888 -4.6%   12.4%   43.0%
Road/Highway 48.873 6.6%   14.3%   -26.5%
Bridge 13.036 -23.5%   24.5%   -5.0%
Dam/Marine 4.462 -18.7%   -3.1%   35.9%
Water/Sewage 23.949 11.2%   16.1%   -11.2%
Miscellaneous Civil (power, pipelines, etc.) 18.095 3.6%   -27.3%   -62.3%
HEAVY ENGINEERING (Civil) 112.302 0.8%   7.3%   -25.9%
             
TOTAL NONRESIDENTIAL 267.927 -6.4%   -11.1%   -14.2%

*Includes transportation terminals and sports arenas.

Source: ConstructConnect Research Group and ConstructConnect.
Table: ConstructConnect.

TABLE 7: VALUE OF UNITED STATES CONSTRUCTION STARTS
CONSTRUCTCONNECT INSIGHT VERSION – JULY 2021
Arranged to match the alphabetical category drop-down menus in INSIGHT

        % Change     % Change % Change
      Jan-Aug 21 Jan-Aug 21 vs     Aug 21 vs Aug 21 vs
      ($ billions) Jan-Aug 20     Jul 20 Jul 21
                 
Summary              
CIVIL     112.302 0.8%     7.3% -25.9%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 155.625 -10.9%     -20.6% -3.5%
RESIDENTIAL   238.201 24.6%     25.9% 12.9%
GRAND TOTAL   506.128 6.0%     4.5% -2.3%
                 
Verticals              
    Airport 3.888 -4.6%     12.4% 43.0%
    All Other Civil 10.759 -25.6%     -18.4% 14.9%
    Bridges 13.036 -23.5%     24.5% -5.0%
    Dams / Canals / Marine Work 4.462 -18.7%     -3.1% 35.9%
    Power Infrastructure 7.335 144.4%     -74.6% -97.0%
    Roads 48.873 6.6%     14.3% -26.5%
    Water and Sewage Treatment 23.949 11.2%     16.1% -11.2%
CIVIL     112.302 0.8%     7.3% -25.9%
    Offices (private) 11.722 -32.3%     -29.7% 37.2%
    Parking Garages 1.261 -1.2%     -12.9% -9.7%
    Transportation Terminals 2.925 81.5%     31.2% 26.5%
  Commercial (small subset) 15.908 -21.3%     -26.2% 32.6%
    Amusement 4.762 12.8%     53.5% -50.6%
    Libraries / Museums 1.726 -44.3%     -52.0% -66.6%
    Religious 0.651 -37.5%     38.3% 299.7%
    Sports Arenas / Convention Centers 3.016 -19.3%     -24.9% 255.4%
  Community 10.155 -16.1%     -1.8% -24.4%
    College / University 10.034 -15.4%     26.8% 24.9%
    Elementary / Pre School 12.506 -21.4%     -19.1% 6.4%
    Jr / Sr High School 19.936 -10.3%     -4.5% 6.8%
    Special / Vocational 1.201 -18.3%     -18.2% -25.5%
  Educational 43.676 -15.1%     -1.3% 10.4%
    Courthouses 1.688 42.0%     -36.1% -67.7%
    Fire and Police Stations 1.933 -10.2%     -14.3% 50.4%
    Government Offices 8.365 24.3%     37.6% -42.6%
    Prisons 1.483 -12.6%     -49.8% 108.7%
  Government 13.469 14.5%     -1.6% -32.5%
    Industrial Labs / Labs / School Labs 1.400 -1.4%     139.6% 23.6%
    Manufacturing 12.955 -11.5%     -74.5% -57.4%
    Warehouses 15.605 -13.9%     -30.2% 4.3%
  Industrial 29.960 -12.4%     -52.7% -27.7%
    Hospitals / Clinics 11.106 27.4%     -35.9% -19.5%
    Medical Misc. 4.192 -24.3%     -10.6% 19.8%
    Nursing Homes 3.973 -19.5%     -34.7% 95.6%
  Medical   19.272 0.4%     -29.8% 9.0%
  Military   5.614 -3.4%     -1.1% -3.3%
    Hotels 4.502 -42.3%     -29.6% -40.4%
    Retail Misc. 3.931 4.6%     -22.4% -28.4%
    Shopping 9.137 8.1%     31.9% 85.4%
  Retail   17.570 -12.2%     3.5% 12.6%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 155.625 -10.9%     -20.6% -3.5%
    Multi-Family 57.751 6.4%     -0.4% 7.1%
    Single-Family 180.450 31.9%     34.4% 14.4%
RESIDENTIAL   238.201 24.6%     25.9% 12.9%
NONRESIDENTIAL 267.927 -6.4%     -11.1% -14.2%
GRAND TOTAL   506.128 6.0%     4.5% -2.3%

Table 2 conforms to the type-of-structure ordering adopted by many firms and organizations in the industry. Specifically, it breaks nonresidential building into ICI work (i.e., industrial, commercial, and institutional), since each has its own set of economic and demographic drivers. Table 3 presents an alternative, perhaps more user-friendly and intuitive type-of-structure ordering that matches how the data appears in ConstructConnect Insight.

Source: ConstructConnect.
Table: ConstructConnect.

TABLE 8: VALUE OF UNITED STATES NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION STARTS – JULY 2021 – CONSTRUCTCONNECT
Billions of current $s, not seasonally adjusted (NSA)

  Latest month actuals  Moving averages (placed in end month) Year to Date. 
        3-months 12-months JAN-AUG JAN-AUG
  JUN 21 JUL 21 AUG 21 JUN 21 JUL 21 AUG 21 JUN 21 JUL 21 AUG 21 2020 2021
                       
Single Family 25.650 24.114 27.580 23.614 24.244 25.781 21.037 21.321 21.909 136.836 180.450
   month-over-month % change 11.7% -6.0% 14.4% 3.2% 2.7% 6.3% 2.8% 1.4% 2.8%    
   year-over-year % change 36.2% 16.5% 34.4% 49.0% 34.0% 28.8% 28.1% 28.3% 30.0% 2.6% 31.9%
Apartment 7.210 6.149 6.584 8.146 6.983 6.648 7.158 7.077 7.075 54.300 57.751
   month-over-month % change -5.0% -14.7% 7.1% 0.7% -14.3% -4.8% -0.4% -1.1% 0.0%    
   year-over-year % change -4.2% -13.6% -0.4% 24.4% -1.0% -6.2% -10.1% -11.7% -8.9% -9.7% 6.4%
TOTAL RESIDENTIAL 32.860 30.263 34.164 31.760 31.227 32.429 28.195 28.398 28.984 191.136 238.201
   month-over-month % change 7.5% -7.9% 12.9% 2.5% -1.7% 3.9% 2.0% 0.7% 2.1%    
   year-over-year % change 24.7% 8.8% 25.9% 41.8% 24.2% 19.6% 15.6% 15.3% 17.7% -1.2% 24.6%
Hotel/Motel 0.814 0.703 0.419 0.662 0.698 0.645 0.599 0.593 0.578 7.801 4.502
   month-over-month % change 41.1% -13.6% -40.4% 12.6% 5.4% -7.5% 4.3% -1.0% -2.5%    
   year-over-year % change 56.5% -9.2% -29.6% 5.3% 25.0% 2.5% -60.8% -59.5% -58.5% -46.6% -42.3%
Retail 1.493 0.815 1.510 1.280 1.177 1.273 1.069 1.050 1.081 8.449 9.137
   month-over-month % change 22.0% -45.5% 85.4% 9.7% -8.0% 8.1% 3.7% -1.8% 2.9%    
   year-over-year % change 44.8% -21.6% 31.9% 31.3% 19.5% 18.7% -3.5% -4.0% 0.4% -29.8% 8.1%
Parking Garages 0.114 0.177 0.160 0.097 0.138 0.151 0.139 0.146 0.144 1.276 1.261
   month-over-month % change -6.8% 55.7% -9.7% -14.8% 42.5% 9.2% -0.5% 4.7% -1.4%    
   year-over-year % change -6.6% 78.6% -12.9% -27.8% -3.5% 11.5% -28.7% -16.2% -15.6% -46.8% -1.2%
Amusement 0.674 1.131 0.559 0.531 0.776 0.788 0.491 0.554 0.570 4.222 4.762
   month-over-month % change 28.9% 67.9% -50.6% 3.8% 46.2% 1.5% 2.3% 12.8% 2.9%    
   year-over-year % change 24.1% 199.2% 53.5% -0.3% 77.5% 83.9% -22.9% -2.3% 2.5% -17.9% 12.8%
Office 0.847 1.887 2.589 1.084 1.254 1.774 1.727 1.774 1.683 17.321 11.722
   month-over-month % change -17.7% 122.8% 37.2% -16.0% 15.7% 41.5% -4.0% 2.7% -5.1%    
   year-over-year % change -50.5% 43.1% -29.7% -31.5% -8.9% -20.7% -36.0% -29.7% -35.7% -22.9% -32.3%
Governmental Offices 0.796 2.140 1.228 0.902 1.306 1.388 0.890 0.997 1.025 6.731 8.365
   month-over-month % change -19.0% 168.9% -42.6% -3.4% 44.8% 6.3% -1.0% 12.1% 2.8%    
   year-over-year % change -11.9% 151.9% 37.6% 8.2% 59.4% 57.4% -9.3% 9.8% 16.0% -14.5% 24.3%
Laboratories 0.179 0.236 0.292 0.137 0.182 0.236 0.169 0.176 0.191 1.420 1.400
   month-over-month % change 38.6% 31.7% 23.6% -12.9% 32.3% 29.8% -2.2% 4.6% 8.0%    
   year-over-year % change -20.2% 64.3% 139.6% 10.4% 22.9% 44.3% -21.1% -18.9% -1.9% -5.6% -1.4%
Warehouse 1.929 1.575 1.642 2.350 1.831 1.715 2.044 2.024 1.964 18.131 15.605
   month-over-month % change -2.9% -18.3% 4.3% -7.1% -22.1% -6.3% -3.4% -1.0% -2.9%    
   year-over-year % change -30.8% -13.5% -30.2% -8.6% -20.6% -26.1% -3.8% -5.8% -7.6% 19.4% -13.9%
Misc Commercial 2.573 0.303 0.645 1.184 1.089 1.173 0.683 0.629 0.622 5.348 5.941
   month-over-month % change 556.6% -88.2% 112.9% 88.0% -8.0% 7.7% 32.9% -7.9% -1.0%    
   year-over-year % change 374.0% -68.2% -10.8% 118.8% 63.9% 58.7% -41.9% -38.6% -37.9% -61.6% 11.1%
TOTAL COMMERCIAL 9.419 8.968 9.045 8.228 8.451 9.144 7.811 7.944 7.859 70.699 62.695
   month-over-month % change 35.2% -4.8% 0.9% 3.9% 2.7% 8.2% 1.1% 1.7% -1.1%    
   year-over-year % change 12.4% 21.6% -10.1% 3.9% 13.6% 6.2% -26.7% -21.5% -21.6% -25.7% -11.3%
TOTAL INDUSTRIAL  (Manufacturing) 1.115 2.097 0.892 1.431 1.728 1.368 1.796 1.876 1.659 14.638 12.955
   month-over-month % change -43.5% 88.0% -57.4% -34.5% 20.7% -20.8% 1.5% 4.5% -11.6%    
   year-over-year % change 38.8% 85.1% -74.5% -15.3% 14.0% -24.5% -44.5% -29.4% -13.4% -69.2% -11.5%
Religious 0.085 0.037 0.148 0.085 0.069 0.090 0.105 0.100 0.104 1.043 0.651
   month-over-month % change -0.1% -56.1% 299.7% -9.2% -18.6% 30.9% -3.1% -4.2% 3.4%    
   year-over-year % change -32.4% -58.8% 38.3% -20.6% -39.0% -16.3% -26.8% -27.8% -22.9% -20.8% -37.5%
Hosptials/Clinics 1.875 0.965 0.776 1.156 1.131 1.205 1.360 1.345 1.309 8.715 11.106
   month-over-month % change 239.2% -48.5% -19.5% -36.8% -2.2% 6.6% 5.4% -1.1% -2.7%    
   year-over-year % change 80.2% -15.5% -35.9% 14.2% 1.8% 6.6% -20.2% -13.3% -10.2% -33.0% 27.4%
Nursing/Assisted Living 0.826 0.264 0.516 0.628 0.553 0.536 0.577 0.566 0.543 4.934 3.973
   month-over-month % change 45.4% -68.0% 95.6% 11.2% -11.9% -3.1% 3.1% -1.9% -4.0%    
   year-over-year % change 33.2% -33.1% -34.7% 7.2% 11.5% -11.0% -13.1% -11.6% -19.3% -23.6% -19.5%
Libraries/Museums 0.229 0.341 0.114 0.226 0.306 0.228 0.195 0.204 0.194 3.097 1.726
   month-over-month % change -34.3% 48.6% -66.6% -1.8% 35.3% -25.6% -3.9% 4.8% -5.0%    
   year-over-year % change -29.5% 48.5% -52.0% -27.6% 2.7% -13.7% -51.5% -46.5% -50.5% 25.5% -44.3%
Police/Courthouse/Prison 0.878 0.619 0.635 0.668 0.674 0.711 0.708 0.710 0.679 5.038 5.104
   month-over-month % change 67.5% -29.5% 2.6% 26.5% 0.8% 5.5% 4.5% 0.2% -4.3%    
   year-over-year % change 71.7% 3.0% -36.6% 43.1% 33.2% 0.8% 16.1% 13.5% 3.3% 23.4% 1.3%
Military 1.248 0.645 0.624 0.741 0.873 0.839 0.748 0.752 0.752 5.811 5.614
   month-over-month % change 71.6% -48.3% -3.3% 16.6% 17.9% -3.9% 7.1% 0.6% -0.1%    
   year-over-year % change 90.2% 8.8% -1.1% -28.5% 50.3% 33.9% 13.7% 11.0% 7.0% 139.0% -3.4%
Schools/Colleges 7.739 5.185 5.725 6.701 6.442 6.216 5.074 4.981 4.975 51.465 43.676
   month-over-month % change 20.9% -33.0% 10.4% 19.3% -3.9% -3.5% -3.0% -1.8% -0.1%    
   year-over-year % change -19.5% -17.7% -1.3% -13.2% -16.8% -14.1% -14.3% -15.3% -15.3% -9.5% -15.1%
Misc Government 0.728 0.438 0.524 0.616 0.541 0.563 0.607 0.576 0.571 5.538 4.192
   month-over-month % change 59.0% -39.9% 19.8% 18.5% -12.1% 4.1% 3.7% -5.1% -0.9%    
   year-over-year % change 55.4% -46.0% -10.6% -2.4% -23.6% -9.4% -14.0% -20.3% -18.8% -14.0% -24.3%
TOTAL INSTITUTIONAL 13.608 8.493 9.063 10.819 10.588 10.388 9.374 9.235 9.127 85.639 76.044
   month-over-month % change 40.8% -37.6% 6.7% 8.0% -2.1% -1.9% 0.2% -1.5% -1.2%    
   year-over-year % change 1.8% -16.4% -12.5% -8.9% -8.4% -8.0% -13.3% -13.0% -13.9% -8.0% -11.2%
Misc Non Residential 0.443 0.538 0.385 0.525 0.541 0.455 0.490 0.503 0.493 3.757 3.931
   month-over-month % change -30.9% 21.2% -28.4% -2.2% 3.1% -15.9% -1.6% 2.6% -1.8%    
   year-over-year % change -17.8% 39.3% -22.4% 15.0% 20.9% -3.9% -16.9% -12.1% -12.3% -19.6% 4.6%
TOTAL NONRES BUILDING 24.585 20.095 19.385 21.003 21.308 21.355 19.470 19.557 19.138 174.733 155.625
   month-over-month % change 27.8% -18.3% -3.5% 1.7% 1.5% 0.2% 0.6% 0.4% -2.1%    
   year-over-year % change 6.5% 5.5% -20.6% -4.3% 1.7% -3.8% -23.0% -18.4% -17.1% -27.3% -10.9%
Airports 0.823 0.568 0.811 0.661 0.715 0.734 0.489 0.479 0.487 4.076 3.888
   month-over-month % change 8.9% -31.1% 43.0% 45.7% 8.3% 2.6% -1.1% -2.0% 1.6%    
   year-over-year % change -7.6% -17.0% 12.4% 13.9% 1.3% -4.1% -12.9% -9.8% -9.0% -19.3% -4.6%
Roads/Highways 6.802 8.104 5.959 7.228 7.545 6.955 5.309 5.491 5.553 45.851 48.873
   month-over-month % change -12.0% 19.1% -26.5% 4.0% 4.4% -7.8% -0.5% 3.4% 1.1%    
   year-over-year % change -4.2% 37.0% 14.3% 0.6% 14.2% 14.4% -3.9% 2.4% 4.0% -2.6% 6.6%
Bridges 1.546 1.493 1.419 1.735 1.566 1.486 1.594 1.539 1.563 17.045 13.036
   month-over-month % change -6.9% -3.4% -5.0% -3.5% -9.7% -5.1% -6.8% -3.4% 1.5%    
   year-over-year % change -47.4% -30.3% 24.5% -22.8% -33.7% -28.4% -27.7% -30.5% -26.9% -21.0% -23.5%
Dams/Marine 0.659 0.575 0.781 0.567 0.569 0.672 0.604 0.607 0.605 5.489 4.462
   month-over-month % change 39.4% -12.9% 35.9% 8.0% 0.4% 18.0% -0.2% 0.5% -0.3%    
   year-over-year % change -2.3% 6.6% -3.1% -24.8% -17.9% -0.2% -11.4% -10.8% -14.8% -0.5% -18.7%
Water/Sewage 3.293 3.498 3.108 3.188 3.489 3.300 2.717 2.768 2.803 21.530 23.949
   month-over-month % change -10.4% 6.2% -11.2% 6.2% 9.4% -5.4% -0.5% 1.9% 1.3%    
   year-over-year % change -4.5% 20.9% 16.1% 10.6% 22.1% 9.8% 2.2% 4.6% 4.0% 3.5% 11.2%
Misc Civil 1.710 4.200 1.584 1.763 2.356 2.498 1.852 1.989 1.940 17.471 18.095
   month-over-month % change 47.9% 145.6% -62.3% 2.0% 33.7% 6.0% -1.4% 7.4% -2.5%    
   year-over-year % change -15.3% 64.6% -27.3% -25.1% -15.5% 11.0% -47.8% -45.3% -35.6% -36.5% 3.6%
TOTAL ENGINEERING 14.834 18.438 13.662 15.141 16.240 15.645 12.564 12.873 12.950 111.462 112.302
   month-over-month % change -4.0% 24.3% -25.9% 4.7% 7.3% -3.7% -1.5% 2.5% 0.6%    
   year-over-year % change -13.1% 25.2% 7.3% -5.4% 1.4% 5.4% -17.2% -14.6% -10.2% -12.6% 0.8%
GRAND TOTAL 72.278 68.796 67.211 67.904 68.775 69.429 60.229 60.829 61.072 477.330 506.128
   month-over-month % change 10.8% -4.8% -2.3% 2.8% 1.3% 1.0% 0.8% 1.0% 0.4%    
   year-over-year % change 8.7% 11.7% 4.5% 12.5% 10.7% 8.2% -7.1% -4.5% -1.7% -15.0% 6.0%
NONRES BLDG + ENGINEERING 39.419 38.533 33.047 36.143 37.548 37.000 32.034 32.430 32.088 286.195 267.927
   month-over-month % change 13.6% -2.2% -14.2% 2.9% 3.9% -1.5% -0.2% 1.2% -1.1%    
   year-over-year % change -1.9% 14.1% -11.1% -4.7% 1.6% -0.1% -20.9% -16.9% -14.5% -22.2% -6.4%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

TABLE 9: U.S. YEAR-TO-DATE REGIONAL STARTS,
NONRESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION* — CONSTRUCTCONNECT

  JAN-AUG 2020   JAN-AUG 2021   % Change
           
Connecticut $2,843,650,515   $1,996,933,100   -29.8%
Maine $1,288,684,345   $2,409,156,193   86.9%
Massachusetts $6,995,413,539   $8,593,616,299   22.8%
New Hampshire $741,164,746   $1,009,945,714   36.3%
Rhode Island $593,660,957   $685,893,568   15.5%
Vermont $455,333,478   $305,297,293   -33.0%
Total New England $12,917,907,580   $15,000,842,167   16.1%
New Jersey $5,173,329,302   $4,976,821,116   -3.8%
New York $13,904,106,268   $14,558,736,254   4.7%
Pennsylvania $7,326,290,112   $9,451,559,782   29.0%
Total Middle Atlantic $26,403,725,682   $28,987,117,152   9.8%
TOTAL NORTHEAST $39,321,633,262   $43,987,959,319   11.9%
Illinois $11,262,666,670   $8,939,464,278   -20.6%
Indiana $5,933,823,807   $5,213,150,972   -12.1%
Michigan $5,725,881,574   $6,525,725,841   14.0%
Ohio $11,615,876,332   $10,262,825,266   -11.6%
Wisconsin $7,055,419,041   $5,316,485,037   -24.6%
Total East North Central $41,593,667,424   $36,257,651,394   -12.8%
Iowa $3,889,446,678   $3,861,445,843   -0.7%
Kansas $3,416,439,119   $2,120,682,054   -37.9%
Minnesota $6,476,503,133   $7,486,009,987   15.6%
Missouri $7,449,229,681   $6,773,389,232   -9.1%
Nebraska $3,396,863,519   $2,648,488,493   -22.0%
North Dakota $1,974,228,655   $1,702,204,011   -13.8%
South Dakota $886,155,715   $1,480,383,960   67.1%
Total West North Central $27,488,866,500   $26,072,603,580   -5.2%
TOTAL MIDWEST $69,082,533,924   $62,330,254,974   -9.8%
Delaware $1,296,104,341   $766,361,515   -40.9%
District of Columbia $636,612,002   $682,664,032   7.2%
Florida $15,885,653,482   $15,527,201,089   -2.3%
Georgia $9,409,376,502   $8,364,930,446   -11.1%
Maryland $4,921,936,313   $3,865,890,056   -21.5%
North Carolina $7,215,567,991   $8,951,907,524   24.1%
South Carolina $3,819,474,356   $3,669,395,030   -3.9%
Virginia $7,877,815,597   $6,337,808,322   -19.5%
West Virginia $1,844,905,885   $789,472,420   -57.2%
Total South Atlantic $52,907,446,469   $48,955,630,434   -7.5%
Alabama $3,556,945,608   $4,890,473,014   37.5%
Kentucky $2,356,373,956   $2,470,456,863   4.8%
Mississippi $2,132,587,952   $1,542,281,369   -27.7%
Tennessee $5,671,920,370   $6,799,165,128   19.9%
Total East South Central $13,717,827,886   $15,702,376,374   14.5%
Arkansas $2,846,558,338   $1,758,780,121   -38.2%
Louisiana $3,289,145,370   $3,583,354,125   8.9%
Oklahoma $2,849,326,968   $3,033,835,353   6.5%
Texas $34,274,870,141   $32,264,339,105   -5.9%
Total West South Central $43,259,900,817   $40,640,308,704   -6.1%
TOTAL SOUTH $109,885,175,172   $105,298,315,512   -4.2%
Arizona $6,161,545,716   $5,455,981,701   -11.5%
Colorado $5,398,025,209   $5,181,292,940   -4.0%
Idaho $1,075,828,374   $907,837,325   -15.6%
Montana $1,172,487,166   $769,137,213   -34.4%
Nevada $2,945,088,295   $2,914,755,884   -1.0%
New Mexico $1,413,349,360   $1,361,256,962   -3.7%
Utah $5,100,107,689   $3,625,941,498   -28.9%
Wyoming $730,323,398   $749,524,350   2.6%
Total Mountain $23,996,755,207   $20,965,727,873   -12.6%
Alaska $951,801,177   $851,896,167   -10.5%
California $27,453,741,184   $23,273,084,894   -15.2%
Hawaii $1,388,978,162   $1,433,894,070   3.2%
Oregon $3,048,903,264   $4,063,864,612   33.3%
Washington $11,065,058,104   $5,721,659,702   -48.3%
Total Pacific $43,908,481,891   $35,344,399,445   -19.5%
TOTAL WEST $67,905,237,098   $56,310,127,318   -17.1%
TOTAL U.S. $286,194,579,456   $267,926,657,123   -6.4%

*Figures above are comprised of nonres building and engineering (i.e., residential is omitted).

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.


CanaData 2021

About Alex Carrick

Alex Carrick is Chief Economist for ConstructConnect. He has delivered presentations throughout North America on the U.S., Canadian and world construction outlooks. Mr. Carrick has been with the company since 1985.