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By: Alex Carrick on March 15th, 2021

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February 2021 Nonresidential Construction Starts -30% YTD Versus ‘Normal’

Economic News | Industry Snapshot

Latest Starts Expose January’s False Signal

ConstructConnect announced today that the latest month’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $18.5 billion, a decrease of -34.6% versus January 2021’s $28.3 billion and a similarly large contraction of -38.5% compared with February 2020’s $30.1 billion.

Nonresidential Construction Starts Falter in December; Full Year 2020 -27% vs 2019 Graphic

Year-to-date February 2021 nonresidential starts were -29.5%. Among structure types, the ytd weakness was entirely in nonresidential buildings (NRBs), -43.3%, as engineering stayed flat, -0.6%. Trailing 12-month (TTM) nonresidential starts (i.e., Mar 20-Feb 21/Mar 19-Feb 20) in the latest period were -30.4%. TTM ‘Grand Total’ starts, which include residential, were -20.0%.


View this information as an infographic
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Download the complete Construction Industry Snapshot Package - February 2021 PDF.

Since last year's starts through Q1 were pre-coronavirus and, therefore, 'normal,' comparisons of this year with last year will suffer until further along in 2021. But that doesn’t explain the shortfall relative to January (i.e., month to month). Apparently, while January’s nonresidential starts increase over December of +26.7% was nice for basking in at the time, it was a false signal.

The Starts Vs. PIP Relationship

‘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 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 usually making up two-fifths of the total and nonresidential, three-fifths (i.e., the bigger portion). Such was the case in January 2020, with residential holding a 41% share and nonresidential accounting for 59%.

January 2021 PIP statistics from the Census Bureau, however, deviated from the norm with the residential versus nonresidential shares-of-total approaching half each (47% next to 53% respectively). Total PIP spending in January 2021, seasonally adjusted and annualized (SAAR), was +5.8% y/y, entirely powered by residential, +21.1% y/y, with nonresidential languishing, -5.0%. PIP numbers, being more spread out, have smaller peak-over-trough percent-change amplitudes than the ‘starts’ series.   

February a Hard Month for Construction Employment

February was a hard month for construction starts. It was also problematic for construction employment. The total number of individuals working in the sector declined by -61,000 jobs. The not seasonally adjusted (NSA) unemployment rate for onsite workers rose to 9.6% from 9.4% in January. In February of last year, construction unemployment was 5.5%.

The composition of February’s month-to-month jobs pullback in construction is set out in Graph 1. Using the category designations adopted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the overall drop of -61,000 jobs came approximately one-third in primary (i.e., general contractor) ‘engineering/civil’ work (-21,000) and two-thirds in nonresidential specialty trade contractor activity (-37,000). Interestingly, general contractor residential building made a +5,000-jobs gain that was almost exactly offset by a -6,000-jobs decline at the residential specialty trade contractor level.

U.S. construction’s year-over-year employment performance is now -4.4%, placing it almost in a tie with the manufacturing sector, at -4.0%. The economy-wide y/y jobs change is slightly worse, -6.6%.

In April of 2021, the year-to-year comparison of the total jobs count will become much perkier due to simple math. The denominator (a.k.a. the base level) in the percentage change calculation will fall significantly, as the period from February to April 2020 was when employment plummeted, due to the onset of the coronavirus contagion.

Presently, the jobs claw-back ratio (i.e., versus February-April 2020’s sizable shrinkage) for construction is 68.4%, better than the 53.8% for all jobs.

The latest year-over-year payroll adjustments in other corners of the economy with close ties to construction have been as follows: machinery and equipment rental and leasing, -12.6%; cement and concrete product manufacturing, -4.7%; oil and gas extraction, -3.9%; real estate, -1.9%; architectural and engineering services, -1.1%; and building materials and supplies dealers, +10.1%. Note that only the last category is showing a y/y increase.

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

The total change in the level of U.S. Construction Employment, Month to Month (M/M) for February, 2021, was -61,000 jobs - not good.
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 February, 2021 - % Change Y/Y
Based on Seasonally Adjusted (SA) Data

Services jobs fell more severely, on a y/y basis, in the Spring of 2020 than in Summer, 2009. Construction &  manufacturing, though, did not experience jobs drops that were as steep as their declines 11 years prior.
The latest data points are for February, 2021.
Data source: Payroll Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

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

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

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

In Feb, construction slipped to 5th in the ranking of y/y jobs (still all declines). Construction's employment fell by-61,000 jobs in the latest month. The  losses were 1/3 in engineering & 2/3 in nonres sub-trades.
Data source: Payroll Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Dept of Labor).
Chart: ConstructConnect.
Graph 4: U.S. Manufacturing vs Construction Employment - February 2021 - Seasonally Adjusted (SA) Payroll Data
The not seasonally adjusted (NSA) jobless rate for construction is currently 9.6%. In April 2020, at its worst, it had been 16.6%. Manufacturing's present NSA unemployment rate is 4.8%. April 2020's extreme was 13.2%. In early 2000, the ratio of construction to manufacturing jobs was 0.4 to 1.0. Now, it's 0.6 to 1.0.
Latest data points are for February, 2021.
Data source: Payroll Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.
Graph 5: U.S. Construction Employment (SA) & Unemployment Rate (NSA)
Construction employment caught a case of the hiccups in February, with the sector's jobs count declining by -61,000. Construction's unemployment rate (NSA) is now 9.6%.
Current through February, 2021.
SA is seasonally adjusted / NSA is not seasonally adjusted.
Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

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

U.S. Construction Job Openings (from JOLTS Report) Chart
*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 Jan. 2021. ... JOLTS = Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 7: U.S. Construction Job Hires (from JOLTS Report)
(3-month Moving Averages placed in Latest Month)

U.S. Construction Job Hires (from JOLTS Report) Chart
*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 Jan. 2021. ... JOLTS = Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

School & Street Starts Relatively Okay YTD

In February 2021, total nonresidential starts were -34.6% compared with January (i.e., month to month). The overall decline was broadly based. Leading the trek downward was the industrial type-of-structure category (-78.6%), followed by heavy engineering/civil (-42.8%), commercial (-22.2%) and institutional (-18.3%).

The year-over-year (i.e., February 2021 vs February 2020) setback in total nonresidential starts (-38.5%) also had wide origins, with industrial at -83.6%; commercial, -60.1%; institutional, -26.9%; and engineering, which was closest to staying on an even keel, -14.3%.

On a year-to-date basis (i.e., Jan-Feb 2021/Jan-Feb 2020), a bit more variety produced the -29.5% record of total nonresidential starts. The commercial category was worst, at -59.0%, with industrial, -40.7%, and institutional, -26.0%, also falling seriously behind. Engineering, though, managed to just about keep up with the prior year, -0.6%.

Among type-of-structure subcategories, the two traditional frontrunners for share-of-total were in the lead once again in February’s year-to-date statistics: ‘educational,’ with a 16.6% slice and ‘roads/highways,’ 14.7%. Those two combined for nearly one-third (31.3%) of total nonresidential starts ytd in the latest month. The key metrics for school/college starts in February were +2.9% m/m, -2.3% y/y, and -11.7% ytd. For road/highway starts, the results were -3.6% m/m, -7.3% y/y, and -9.2% ytd. Compared with the deep drops for many other subcategories, both schools and streets have been holding up relatively well so far this year.

Only four subcategories have achieved starts increases to date in 2021: ‘military,’ +55.2%; ‘miscellaneous civil,’ +31.4%; ‘water/sewage,’ +21.5%; and ‘fire/police/courthouse/prison,’ +4.3%. ‘Parking garage’ starts have been flat, +0.4%.

Among month-to-month starts volume changes, perhaps the two standouts are ‘laboratories,’ +75.6%, and ‘hospitals/clinics,’ +24.4%.

Data Centers Most Comfortable in Virginia & Georgia

As a subset of ‘private office buildings,’ ConstructConnect has been keeping track of data center projects since 2018. Over the past three years, 307 such projects have been identified. In 2018, the nationwide sum of their value was $5.3 billion; in 2019, $5.6 billion; and in 2020, $4.4 billion.

The dollar volume of data center starts last year, compared with 2019, was down by about one-fifth, which was better than the drop for all nonresidential building starts, off by nearly a third.

In 2018, the states with the largest dollar volumes of data center starts among private office buildings were Virginia ($1.4 billion), Nevada, Utah, Georgia, and Alabama.

In 2019, the states with the largest dollar volumes of data center starts among private office buildings were Georgia ($2.6 billion), Texas, Ohio, and South Carolina.

In 2020, the states with the largest dollar volumes of data center starts among private office buildings were Tennessee ($1.6 billion), Illinois, Virginia, and Nebraska.

Among the states identified above, only Virginia and Georgia appear in two years, rather than just one.

Expansion Index to Monitor 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 on our Expansion Index page. 

The Expansion Index, for hundreds of cities in the U.S. 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.

Mainly Ostentatious Trend Line Descents

The first four 12-month moving average trend graphs (Nonresidential Construction Starts Trend Graphs - February 2021) feature curves with slopes that have been declining in obvious fashion. In Graph 5, though, the ‘roads/highways’ and ‘water/sewage’ lines have been moving mostly sideways for several years. In Graph 6, there are early indications of a pause occurring, or maybe even a leveling off happening, in the downward slopes of ‘miscellaneous civil’ and ‘bridges.’

JOLTS Numbers Capture Conflicting Construction Jobs Narrative

Single-family residential construction is performing quite well presently. Net of single-family, however, overall construction is walking a difficult path. Just the same, there continue to be expressions of concern about the availability of workers. The latest JOLTS numbers capture some of this conflicting narrative. JOLTS is an acronym for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

From Graph 6, job openings in the construction sector (both as a level and rate), while down from their peaks in early 2019, continue to be more upbeat than at almost any other time in the past two decades. But from Graph 7, construction hiring, of late, has really bounced around.

As in many other parts of the economy, hiring nosedived in the Spring of last year, then rebounded resoundingly when it was widely determined that carrying on with building and repair projects was essential.

The resurgence in hiring, though, proved to be short-lived. Construction sector hiring now is not particularly noteworthy. And that helps explain why compensation advances for construction workers have been falling behind the earnings gains for ‘all’ jobs, a subject to be covered further in the next section.

Construction Workers Fail to Share in Paycheck Bounty

Tables B-3 and B-8 of the monthly Employment Situation report 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 nonsupervisory personnel’ only (i.e., it excludes bosses). For ‘all jobs’ and construction, there are eight relevant percentage changes to consider.

From Table B-3 (including supervisory personnel), ‘all jobs’ earnings y/y in February 2021 were +5.3% hourly and +5.9% weekly. By comparison, the compensation gains for construction workers (i.e., as a subset of ‘all jobs’) were lackluster, +3.1% hourly and just +0.5% weekly. From Table B-8 (excluding bosses), ‘all jobs’ paycheck hikes were +5.1% hourly and +6.1% weekly. Again, at +2.7% hourly and +0.6% weekly, construction workers failed to share in the bounty.

Graph 8: Average Hourly Earnings Y/Y - 'All Jobs' & Construction
Average Hourly Earnings Y/Y - 'All Jobs' & Construction Chart
From ‘Production Workers and Non-supervisory Personnel’ Table (B8).
The latest data points are for February, 2021
Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s Employment Situation report.
Chart: ConstructConnect.
Graph 9: Average Weekly Earnings Y/Y - 'All Jobs' & Construction
Average Weekly Earnings Y/Y - 'All Jobs' & Construction Chart
From ‘Production Workers and Non-supervisory Personnel’ Table (B8).
The latest data points are for February, 2021
Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s Employment Situation report.
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Material Input Costs Come to a Boil

February 2021’s y/y results for three structures-related BLS Producer Price Index (PPI) series were as follows: ‘construction materials special index,’ +12.4% (a big step up from January’s +9.2%); ‘inputs to new construction index, excluding capital investment, labor, and imports,’ +10.0% (again, a steep climb from January at +6.9%); and ‘final demand construction,’ +1.0% (little changed from the previous month’s +0.8%). Input costs have come to a boil, but owners of prospective projects are still receiving bargain bid quotes.

Among major building materials, there have been some notable cost increases lately, as set out in February’s Producer Price Index report. On a year-over-year basis, softwood lumber is +79.7% (+7.9% m/m); ‘hot rolled steel bars, plates, and structural shapes,’ +15.2% (+9.9% m/m); copper wire and cable, +18.2%; gypsum products, +5.1%; and aluminum sheet and strip, +3.1%. For the first time in a year, unleaded regular gasoline prices are up year over year (+4.1%). Even the price of cement, which has a history of advancing in gradual increments, is +3.0% y/y.

The value of construction starts each month is derived from ConstructConnect’s database of all active construction projects in the U.S. 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. 

February 2021 ‘Grand Total’ Starts -16.6% Y/Y

From Table 4 below, ConstructConnect’s total residential starts in February 2021 were +18.9% m/m, +10.5% y/y, and +2.2% ytd. The latest month’s multi-unit starts were +31.9% m/m, but -19.4% y/y and -33.8% ytd. Most of the positivity in the residential marketplace currently resides in single-family starts: +15.9% m/m, +22.3% y/y, and +18.0% ytd. Including home building with all nonresidential categories, ConstructConnect’s ‘Grand Total’ starts in 2021’s second month were -11.7% m/m, -17.4% y/y, and -16.6% 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 rebid, the ‘start’ date is revised to reflect the new information.

Download the Construction Industry Snapshot Package - February 2021 PDF.

Check out the Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. - February 2021.

Check out the Nonresidential Construction Starts Trend Graphs - February 2021.

TABLE 2: VALUE OF UNITED STATES NONRESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION STARTS
FEBRUARY 2021 – CONSTRUCTCONNECT

    % Change   % Change   % Change
  Jan-Feb 21 Jan-Feb 21 vs    Feb 21 vs   Feb 21 vs
  ($ billions) Jan-Feb 20   Feb 20   jan 21
             
Hotel/Motel 0.759 -78.5%   -87.6%   -51.2%
Retail 1.413 -31.1%   -20.4%   -8.5%
Parking Garage 0.451 0.4%   199.2%   -2.7%
Amusement 0.753 -40.7%   -38.2%   -22.2%
Private Office  1.956 -69.0%   -79.8%   -44.9%
Government Office 1.363 -13.0%   -9.5%   9.1%
Laboratory 0.206 -65.4%   -11.1%   75.6%
Warehouse 1.792 -62.6%   -44.7%   -22.3%
Miscellaneous Commercial* 0.316 -77.5%   -76.1%   -14.0%
COMMERCIAL (big subset) 9.009 -59.0%   -60.1%   -22.2%
             
INDUSTRIAL (Manufacturing) 2.405 -40.7%   -83.6%   -78.6%
             
Religious 0.077 -69.4%   -62.1%   25.4%
Hospital/Clinic 1.084 -59.7%   -59.2%   24.4%
Nursing/Assisted Living 0.465 -66.1%   -81.0%   -67.4%
Library/Museum 0.251 -82.7%   -89.4%   -55.4%
Police/Courthouse/Prison 1.434 4.3%   14.1%   -45.6%
Military 1.467 55.2%   11.9%   -69.8%
School/College 7.775 -11.7%   -2.3%   2.9%
Miscellaneous Medical 0.732 -30.9%   -26.2%   -9.0%
INSTITUTIONAL 13.286 -26.0%   -26.9%   -18.3%
             
Miscellaneous Nonresidential 0.785 -20.8%   -4.7%   8.5%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 25.485 -43.3%   -48.9%   -27.1%
             
Airport 0.308 -12.6%   -9.3%   37.9%
Road/Highway 6.883 -9.2%   -7.3%   -3.6%
Bridge 3.165 -23.4%   -41.8%   -46.4%
Dam/Marine 0.691 -45.1%   37.8%   48.9%
Water/Sewage 5.011 21.5%   -2.1%   -32.9%
Miscellaneous Civil (power, pipelines, etc.) 5.304 31.4%   -30.0%   -85.1%
HEAVY ENGINEERING (Civil) 21.362 -0.6%   -14.3%   -42.8%
             
TOTAL NONRESIDENTIAL 46.847 -29.5%   -38.5%   -34.6%

*Includes transportation terminals and sports arenas.

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

TABLE 3: VALUE OF UNITED STATES CONSTRUCTION STARTS
CONSTRUCTCONNECT INSIGHT VERSION – FEBRUARY 2021
Arranged to match the alphabetical category drop-down menus in INSIGHT

        % Change     % Change % Change
      Jan-Feb 21 Jan-Feb 21 vs     Feb 21 vs Feb 21 vs
      ($ billions) Jan-Feb 20     Feb 20 Jan 21
                 
Summary              
CIVIL     21.362 -0.6%     -14.3% -42.8%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 25.485 -43.3%     -48.9% -27.1%
RESIDENTIAL   46.400 2.2%     10.5% 18.9%
GRAND TOTAL   93.248 -16.6%     -17.4% -11.7%
                 
Verticals              
    Airport 0.308 -12.6%     -9.3% 37.9%
    All Other Civil 3.952 5.6%     -45.1% -86.2%
    Bridges 3.165 -23.4%     -41.8% -46.4%
    Dams / Canals / Marine Work 0.691 -45.1%     37.8% 48.9%
    Power Infrastructure 1.352 360.3%     94.0% -81.9%
    Roads 6.883 -9.2%     -7.3% -3.6%
    Water and Sewage Treatment 5.011 21.5%     -2.1% -32.9%
CIVIL     21.362 -0.6%     -14.3% -42.8%
    Offices (private) 1.956 -69.0%     -79.8% -44.9%
    Parking Garages 0.451 0.4%     199.2% -2.7%
    Transportation Terminals 0.125 -71.6%     -45.9% 46.5%
  Commercial (small subset) 2.532 -64.8%     -72.9% -35.6%
    Amusement 0.753 -40.7%     -38.2% -22.2%
    Libraries / Museums 0.251 -82.7%     -89.4% -55.4%
    Religious 0.077 -69.4%     -62.1% 25.4%
    Sports Arenas / Convention Centers 0.191 -80.2%     -84.8% -39.8%
  Community 1.272 -67.7%     -71.8% -30.5%
    College / University 2.080 -24.5%     -29.7% -25.5%
    Elementary / Pre School 2.056 -4.8%     -19.0% -19.9%
    Jr / Sr High School 3.438 -6.1%     27.0% 45.3%
    Special / Vocational 0.200 -11.8%     151.4% 6.6%
  Educational 7.775 -11.7%     -2.3% 2.9%
    Courthouses 0.532 -2.6%     117.0% -46.5%
    Fire and Police Stations 0.588 -10.1%     -10.9% -23.5%
    Government Offices 1.363 -13.0%     -9.5% 9.1%
    Prisons 0.314 79.3%     -9.1% -74.0%
  Government 2.797 -4.9%     -1.0% -23.1%
    Industrial Labs / Labs / School Labs 0.206 -65.4%     -11.1% 75.6%
    Manufacturing 2.405 -40.7%     -83.6% -78.6%
    Warehouses 1.792 -62.6%     -44.7% -22.3%
  Industrial 4.404 -53.4%     -67.7% -56.3%
    Hospitals / Clinics 1.084 -59.7%     -59.2% 24.4%
    Medical Misc. 0.732 -30.9%     -26.2% -9.0%
    Nursing Homes 0.465 -66.1%     -81.0% -67.4%
  Medical   2.281 -55.5%     -58.2% -12.5%
  Military   1.467 55.2%     11.9% -69.8%
    Hotels 0.759 -78.5%     -87.6% -51.2%
    Retail Misc. 0.785 -20.8%     -4.7% 8.5%
    Shopping 1.413 -31.1%     -20.4% -8.5%
  Retail   2.957 -55.0%     -59.5% -18.0%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 25.485 -43.3%     -48.9% -27.1%
    Multi-Family 9.199 -33.8%     -19.4% 31.9%
    Single-Family 37.201 18.0%     22.3% 15.9%
RESIDENTIAL   46.400 2.2%     10.5% 18.9%
NONRESIDENTIAL 46.847 -29.5%     -38.5% -34.6%
GRAND TOTAL   93.248 -16.6%     -17.4% -11.7%

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 4: VALUE OF UNITED STATES NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION STARTS – FEBRUARY 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-fEB JAN-FEB
  DEC 20 JAN 21 FEB 21 DEC 20 JAN 21 FEB 21 DEC 20 JAN 21 FEB 21 2020 2021
                       
Single Family 19.794 17.228 19.974 20.466 18.798 18.998 18.277 18.446 18.750 31.525 37.201
   month-over-month % change 2.2% -13.0% 15.9% -2.1% -8.1% 1.1% 2.0% 0.9% 1.6%    
   year-over-year % change 27.1% 13.4% 22.3% 27.8% 22.5% 21.0% 10.3% 11.3% 11.1% 13.2% 18.0%
Apartment 4.454 3.966 5.233 5.805 4.825 4.551 6.328 6.041 5.936 13.898 9.199
   month-over-month % change -26.5% -10.9% 31.9% -8.1% -16.9% -5.7% -5.3% -4.5% -1.7%    
   year-over-year % change -48.6% -46.5% -19.4% -40.5% -43.0% -39.5% -23.3% -27.2% -27.5% -4.9% -33.8%
TOTAL RESIDENTIAL 24.248 21.194 25.206 26.271 23.624 23.549 24.605 24.487 24.686 45.423 46.400
   month-over-month % change -4.6% -12.6% 18.9% -3.5% -10.1% -0.3% 0.0% -0.5% 0.8%    
   year-over-year % change 0.0% -6.3% 10.5% 2.0% -0.8% 1.4% -0.9% -1.5% -1.5% 7.0% 2.2%
Hotel/Motel 0.226 0.510 0.249 0.605 0.584 0.328 0.844 0.759 0.613 3.535 0.759
   month-over-month % change -77.7% 125.8% -51.2% -12.6% -3.4% -43.7% -15.3% -10.0% -19.3%    
   year-over-year % change -89.0% -66.5% -87.6% -74.5% -72.7% -82.4% -57.0% -61.2% -69.0% 6.4% -78.5%
Retail 0.587 0.738 0.675 0.839 0.725 0.667 0.983 0.944 0.930 2.049 1.413
   month-over-month % change -30.8% 25.6% -8.5% -13.7% -13.6% -8.0% -2.9% -3.9% -1.5%    
   year-over-year % change -37.3% -38.6% -20.4% -18.6% -35.9% -33.0% -28.6% -30.8% -27.7% -34.6% -31.1%
Parking Garages 0.079 0.229 0.222 0.107 0.137 0.176 0.146 0.134 0.146 0.449 0.451
   month-over-month % change -23.9% 191.0% -2.7% -14.3% 27.5% 29.0% -2.6% -8.3% 9.2%    
   year-over-year % change -37.4% -39.0% 199.2% -52.2% -47.3% -7.9% -44.6% -50.1% -45.0% 6.3% 0.4%
Amusement 0.407 0.423 0.329 0.495 0.390 0.386 0.513 0.487 0.470 1.270 0.753
   month-over-month % change 19.2% 4.1% -22.2% -4.3% -21.1% -1.0% -3.7% -5.1% -3.5%    
   year-over-year % change -36.7% -42.5% -38.2% -22.5% -35.4% -39.4% -18.9% -24.6% -28.4% 28.7% -40.7%
Office 1.443 1.261 0.695 2.151 2.079 1.133 1.974 1.841 1.612 6.303 1.956
   month-over-month % change -59.2% -12.6% -44.9% 1.6% -3.3% -45.5% -2.2% -6.7% -12.5%    
   year-over-year % change -26.7% -55.8% -79.8% -40.7% -38.3% -58.9% -35.2% -42.3% -52.5% 192.3% -69.0%
Governmental Offices 0.754 0.652 0.711 0.739 0.723 0.706 0.898 0.887 0.881 1.566 1.363
   month-over-month % change -1.3% -13.5% 9.1% -30.8% -2.1% -2.4% 0.0% -1.2% -0.7%    
   year-over-year % change -0.7% -16.4% -9.5% -24.9% -17.6% -8.9% -8.3% -9.9% -11.5% 14.1% -13.0%
Laboratories 0.236 0.075 0.131 0.197 0.142 0.148 0.190 0.159 0.157 0.596 0.206
   month-over-month % change 105.7% -68.4% 75.6% 0.3% -27.8% 3.9% -3.1% -16.4% -0.9%    
   year-over-year % change -23.3% -83.3% -11.1% 0.3% -54.7% -51.0% -5.8% -28.6% -31.2% 118.4% -65.4%
Warehouse 0.904 1.009 0.784 1.723 1.372 0.899 2.023 1.826 1.773 4.796 1.792
   month-over-month % change -59.0% 11.6% -22.3% -9.8% -20.4% -34.5% -4.8% -9.8% -2.9%    
   year-over-year % change -57.4% -70.1% -44.7% -8.5% -45.6% -61.0% 7.6% -10.7% -13.6% 74.7% -62.6%
Misc Commercial 0.155 0.170 0.146 0.295 0.244 0.157 0.563 0.511 0.472 1.403 0.316
   month-over-month % change -62.0% 9.9% -14.0% -34.2% -17.4% -35.7% -9.6% -9.2% -7.6%    
   year-over-year % change -82.3% -78.6% -76.1% -75.0% -77.5% -79.3% -67.2% -68.6% -70.9% -43.6% -77.5%
TOTAL COMMERCIAL 4.791 5.066 3.943 7.151 6.396 4.600 8.134 7.548 7.054 21.968 9.009
   month-over-month % change -48.7% 5.7% -22.2% -11.1% -10.5% -28.1% -4.9% -7.2% -6.5%    
   year-over-year % change -51.0% -58.1% -60.1% -41.1% -48.0% -56.5% -32.5% -38.7% -43.5% 30.0% -59.0%
TOTAL INDUSTRIAL  (Manufacturing) 0.415 1.982 0.424 1.266 1.056 0.940 1.671 1.713 1.533 4.054 2.405
   month-over-month % change -46.2% 377.1% -78.6% -26.8% -16.5% -11.0% -5.7% 2.5% -10.5%    
   year-over-year % change -74.4% 34.3% -83.6% -48.8% -46.9% -50.3% -64.1% -62.0% -65.9% -32.1% -40.7%
Religious 0.172 0.034 0.043 0.127 0.096 0.083 0.127 0.119 0.113 0.251 0.077
   month-over-month % change 108.1% -80.2% 25.4% 12.5% -24.4% -13.8% 4.0% -6.8% -4.9%    
   year-over-year % change 52.9% -75.4% -62.1% -11.1% -38.6% -31.6% -19.1% -21.9% -26.1% -18.4% -69.4%
Hosptials/Clinics 0.663 0.483 0.601 1.162 0.931 0.582 1.039 0.978 0.905 2.694 1.084
   month-over-month % change -59.8% -27.1% 24.4% -3.3% -19.9% -37.4% -11.0% -5.9% -7.4%    
   year-over-year % change -69.8% -60.4% -59.2% -51.4% -53.3% -64.3% -42.8% -45.4% -51.2% 19.9% -59.7%
Nursing/Assisted Living 0.446 0.351 0.114 0.541 0.463 0.304 0.593 0.559 0.518 1.370 0.465
   month-over-month % change -24.5% -21.4% -67.4% -11.3% -14.4% -34.3% -0.1% -5.9% -7.3%    
   year-over-year % change -2.0% -54.4% -81.0% -22.4% -28.4% -50.1% -25.8% -27.5% -31.3% -28.8% -66.1%
Libraries/Museums 0.133 0.174 0.077 0.135 0.150 0.128 0.304 0.259 0.205 1.448 0.251
   month-over-month % change -7.8% 30.3% -55.4% -4.1% 11.5% -14.9% -2.0% -15.0% -20.9%    
   year-over-year % change -36.1% -75.9% -89.4% -63.1% -63.9% -76.8% -10.3% -32.1% -52.7% 350.0% -82.7%
Police/Courthouse/Prison 0.743 0.929 0.505 0.811 0.912 0.726 0.676 0.676 0.681 1.376 1.434
   month-over-month % change -30.2% 25.1% -45.6% 4.3% 12.5% -20.4% 3.0% 0.0% 0.8%    
   year-over-year % change 46.2% -0.4% 14.1% 31.2% 34.6% 15.6% 16.9% 10.3% 9.1% 65.8% 4.3%
Military 0.403 1.127 0.340 0.836 0.879 0.623 0.773 0.814 0.817 0.945 1.467
   month-over-month % change -63.6% 179.3% -69.8% -18.0% 5.2% -29.1% 1.9% 5.2% 0.4%    
   year-over-year % change 75.7% 75.8% 11.9% 33.6% 72.5% 59.2% 83.7% 80.3% 76.7% 110.6% 55.2%
Schools/Colleges 3.217 3.832 3.943 3.894 3.783 3.664 5.592 5.514 5.506 8.803 7.775
   month-over-month % change -25.2% 19.1% 2.9% -6.7% -2.9% -3.1% -3.1% -1.4% -0.1%    
   year-over-year % change -39.7% -19.6% -2.3% -19.4% -22.0% -22.3% -11.6% -12.0% -11.8% -10.2% -11.7%
Misc Government 0.748 0.383 0.349 0.621 0.582 0.493 0.643 0.626 0.616 1.059 0.732
   month-over-month % change 21.3% -48.8% -9.0% 14.9% -6.2% -15.3% -0.9% -2.6% -1.6%    
   year-over-year % change -8.9% -34.7% -26.2% -15.1% -6.0% -21.3% -17.4% -15.6% -18.7% -19.6% -30.9%
TOTAL INSTITUTIONAL 6.524 7.313 5.973 8.126 7.797 6.603 9.748 9.543 9.360 17.945 13.286
   month-over-month % change -31.7% 12.1% -18.3% -5.2% -4.1% -15.3% -2.8% -2.1% -1.9%    
   year-over-year % change -33.9% -25.2% -26.9% -21.9% -21.0% -28.8% -13.1% -14.5% -17.0% 4.3% -26.0%
Misc Non Residential 0.441 0.377 0.408 0.460 0.413 0.409 0.462 0.447 0.445 0.991 0.785
   month-over-month % change 4.8% -14.6% 8.5% -1.4% -10.3% -1.0% -0.1% -3.4% -0.4%    
   year-over-year % change -1.3% -33.1% -4.7% -42.4% -34.8% -14.8% -27.7% -31.3% -30.1% -2.9% -20.8%
TOTAL NONRES BUILDING 12.171 14.738 10.748 17.003 15.662 12.552 20.015 19.251 18.392 44.958 25.485
   month-over-month % change -39.4% 21.1% -27.1% -9.6% -7.9% -19.9% -3.8% -3.8% -4.5%    
   year-over-year % change -44.0% -38.4% -48.9% -34.1% -36.8% -43.5% -29.9% -32.8% -36.3% 9.4% -43.3%
Airports 0.161 0.130 0.179 0.425 0.319 0.157 0.504 0.502 0.501 0.353 0.308
   month-over-month % change -75.8% -19.6% 37.9% -29.6% -24.9% -50.9% -4.4% -0.4% -0.3%    
   year-over-year % change -63.1% -16.7% -9.3% -27.1% 1.9% -40.5% -18.1% -14.5% -8.2% -70.7% -12.6%
Roads/Highways 3.353 3.505 3.378 4.572 4.076 3.412 5.300 5.264 5.242 7.584 6.883
   month-over-month % change -37.6% 4.5% -3.6% -4.6% -10.9% -16.3% -1.6% -0.7% -0.4%    
   year-over-year % change -23.6% -11.0% -7.3% 3.1% -0.4% -14.5% -2.6% -3.6% -4.1% 3.4% -9.2%
Bridges 2.581 2.060 1.105 1.571 1.900 1.915 1.871 1.857 1.791 4.131 3.165
   month-over-month % change 143.8% -20.2% -46.4% 53.7% 20.9% 0.8% 4.4% -0.8% -3.6%    
   year-over-year % change 58.3% -7.7% -41.8% -19.3% -1.2% -0.3% -25.6% -26.2% -27.5% -12.1% -23.4%
Dams/Marine 0.406 0.278 0.413 0.770 0.478 0.366 0.684 0.627 0.636 1.258 0.691
   month-over-month % change -45.7% -31.7% 48.9% 0.3% -38.0% -23.4% 0.1% -8.3% 1.5%    
   year-over-year % change 1.9% -71.0% 37.8% -7.2% -40.8% -33.7% -4.0% -17.6% -16.0% 76.8% -45.1%
Water/Sewage 2.405 2.999 2.012 2.173 2.417 2.472 2.594 2.672 2.668 4.126 5.011
   month-over-month % change 30.3% 24.7% -32.9% -10.3% 11.2% 2.3% -2.4% 3.0% -0.1%    
   year-over-year % change -24.2% 44.8% -2.1% -20.1% -6.7% 1.6% -1.5% 3.6% 3.6% -14.8% 21.5%
Misc Civil 1.271 4.617 0.687 1.224 2.438 2.192 1.823 1.954 1.929 4.036 5.304
   month-over-month % change -10.8% 263.3% -85.1% 14.0% 99.2% -10.1% -20.3% 7.1% -1.3%    
   year-over-year % change -81.4% 51.2% -30.0% -74.7% -38.8% -39.5% -52.6% -51.7% -52.3% 138.6% 31.4%
TOTAL ENGINEERING 10.177 13.588 7.774 10.735 11.626 10.513 12.777 12.875 12.767 21.486 21.362
   month-over-month % change -8.4% 33.5% -42.8% 0.5% 8.3% -9.6% -4.2% 0.8% -0.8%    
   year-over-year % change -39.6% 9.5% -14.3% -30.1% -15.2% -17.7% -19.0% -19.3% -19.5% 4.9% -0.6%
GRAND TOTAL 46.596 49.520 43.728 54.009 50.912 46.615 57.397 56.613 55.845 111.868 93.248
   month-over-month % change -17.7% 6.3% -11.7% -4.8% -5.7% -8.4% -2.3% -1.4% -1.4%    
   year-over-year % change -25.8% -16.0% -17.4% -19.3% -18.3% -19.9% -17.0% -18.5% -20.0% 7.5% -16.6%
NONRES BLDG + ENGINEERING 22.349 28.326 18.522 27.738 27.288 23.065 32.792 32.126 31.159 66.445 46.847
   month-over-month % change -28.3% 26.7% -34.6% -6.0% -1.6% -15.5% -4.0% -2.0% -3.0%    
   year-over-year % change -42.1% -22.0% -38.5% -32.6% -29.1% -34.1% -26.0% -27.9% -30.4% 7.9% -29.5%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

TABLE 5: U.S. YEAR-TO-DATE REGIONAL STARTS,
NONRESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION* — CONSTRUCTCONNECT

  JAN-FEB 2020   JAN-FEB 2021   % Change
           
Connecticut $413,521,726   $174,262,672   -57.9%
Maine $177,936,117   $1,214,890,325   582.8%
Massachusetts $1,385,987,386   $667,516,466   -51.8%
New Hampshire $85,119,401   $67,823,487   -20.3%
Rhode Island $158,693,179   $309,765,531   95.2%
Vermont $92,213,083   $37,519,253   -59.3%
Total New England $2,313,470,892   $2,471,777,734   6.8%
New Jersey $1,180,626,530   $453,912,970   -61.6%
New York $3,767,616,041   $2,049,249,893   -45.6%
Pennsylvania $1,574,758,885   $1,123,804,219   -28.6%
Total Middle Atlantic $6,523,001,456   $3,626,967,082   -44.4%
TOTAL NORTHEAST $8,836,472,348   $6,098,744,816   -31.0%
Illinois $1,628,194,378   $1,665,481,732   2.3%
Indiana $1,238,086,374   $975,361,916   -21.2%
Michigan $1,017,067,880   $924,590,547   -9.1%
Ohio $1,587,534,712   $1,618,974,103   2.0%
Wisconsin $1,094,750,267   $896,929,863   -18.1%
Total East North Central $6,565,633,611   $6,081,338,161   -7.4%
Iowa $692,564,762   $420,703,723   -39.3%
Kansas $796,287,542   $307,090,975   -61.4%
Minnesota $726,004,052   $2,972,087,181   309.4%
Missouri $1,096,498,005   $981,984,716   -10.4%
Nebraska $1,362,412,973   $329,289,196   -75.8%
North Dakota $117,537,698   $265,846,384   126.2%
South Dakota $160,133,927   $231,550,035   44.6%
Total West North Central $4,951,438,959   $5,508,552,210   11.3%
TOTAL MIDWEST $11,517,072,570   $11,589,890,371   0.6%
Delaware $447,619,264   $131,886,299   -70.5%
District of Columbia $151,332,198   $152,907,914   1.0%
Florida $4,170,199,667   $2,807,483,220   -32.7%
Georgia $2,419,435,189   $2,171,655,345   -10.2%
Maryland $1,711,161,928   $467,567,206   -72.7%
North Carolina $1,697,124,485   $1,274,629,280   -24.9%
South Carolina $850,828,797   $1,119,877,774   31.6%
Virginia $2,873,988,029   $1,165,372,110   -59.5%
West Virginia $276,528,944   $135,080,222   -51.2%
Total South Atlantic $14,598,218,501   $9,426,459,370   -35.4%
Alabama $1,092,878,997   $707,168,930   -35.3%
Kentucky $508,250,331   $357,852,879   -29.6%
Mississippi $586,575,477   $213,089,166   -63.7%
Tennessee $1,953,509,354   $1,140,936,473   -41.6%
Total East South Central $4,141,214,159   $2,419,047,448   -41.6%
Arkansas $1,305,353,692   $323,452,400   -75.2%
Louisiana $860,954,591   $719,967,915   -16.4%
Oklahoma $650,086,663   $550,580,083   -15.3%
Texas $6,803,060,803   $6,514,034,886   -4.2%
Total West South Central $9,619,455,749   $8,108,035,284   -15.7%
TOTAL SOUTH $28,358,888,409   $19,953,542,102   -29.6%
Arizona $2,759,854,643   $489,591,121   -82.3%
Colorado $1,343,499,975   $676,063,973   -49.7%
Idaho $273,511,116   $92,151,588   -66.3%
Montana $199,067,345   $98,202,910   -50.7%
Nevada $797,185,134   $367,125,035   -53.9%
New Mexico $260,306,230   $397,113,829   52.6%
Utah $1,390,480,843   $570,373,287   -59.0%
Wyoming $134,118,569   $113,803,094   -15.1%
Total Mountain $7,158,023,855   $2,804,424,837   -60.8%
Alaska $138,250,326   $85,980,114   -37.8%
California $8,032,903,411   $4,761,439,706   -40.7%
Hawaii $171,884,889   $213,953,392   24.5%
Oregon $419,181,157   $569,491,833   35.9%
Washington $1,812,007,214   $769,972,099   -57.5%
Total Pacific $10,574,226,997   $6,400,837,144   -39.5%
TOTAL WEST $17,732,250,852   $9,205,261,981   -48.1%
TOTAL U.S. $66,444,684,179   $46,847,439,270   -29.5%

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

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.


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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.