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By: Alex Carrick on August 16th, 2021

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July's Nonresidential Construction Starts -3% M/M, +11% Y/Y, & -7% YTD

Economic News | Industry Snapshot

ConstructConnect announced today that July 2021's volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $37.6 billion (green shaded box, Table 8 below), a decrease of -3.1% vs June 2021's $38.8 billion (originally reported as $38.4 billion).

June's Nonresidential Construction Starts +14% M/M, But -11% YTD Graphic

Compared with July 2020, however, the latest month’s dollar volume of total nonresidential starts was +11.3%. On a year-to-date basis (Jan-Jul 2021/Jan-Jul 2020), they’ve been -7.1%.


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

A Wind Farm, a Warehouse, an Office Tower, and the FBI

The largest construction jobs initiated in the latest month included two mega projects defined as carrying estimated values of a billion dollars or more each. Biggest of all was a $2.8 billion wind farm for power generation to be situated off the coast of Massachusetts. Plus, there was a start-up on a $1 billion Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) building in Huntsville, Alabama.

Not exceeding a billion dollars in value but projected to account for 2.5 million square feet of construction, was July’s groundbreaking on the 57-story JPMorgan Chase office tower in New York. Also, not making it into July’s Top 10 (see Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. - July 2021) for dollar value, but notable nonetheless, was an Amazon/Seefried Industrial Properties’ distribution center in Davenport, Iowa, for 2.9 million square feet.  

July of last year featured only one megaproject, the $1.4 billion Metro/Foothill Gold Line light rail extension in San Dimas (east Los Angeles), California.

By Major Types of Structure, 3 Distinct Paths

Starts year to date in 2021, according to the three major type-of-structure designations, have traveled quite separate paths. Residential starts have been ahead by more than a quarter, +26.2%; engineering starts have been flat, -0.6%; and nonresidential building starts have been less than sparkling, -11.4%.

On a month-to-month basis in July, though, engineering starts were the sprightliest, +24.4%, followed by residential, +12.3%, with nonresidential building still displaying weakness, -20.1%.   

Trailing 12-Month (TTM) Results Less Negative

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 July on a month-to-month basis were +1.7%, compared with +0.6% in June and +0.8% in May. On a year-over-year basis in July, GT TTM starts were -4.7% versus -7.9% in June and -9.8% in May. Those latest three y/y percent changes may still be negative, but the trend is moving in a healthier (less distressed) direction.

PIP Stats Also Skew Towards Residential

‘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 June 2021 not-seasonally-adjusted (NSA) PIP numbers for total U.S., the year-to-date mix has shifted dramatically. The residential to nonresidential relationship has become approximately half and half (i.e., 49.0%-to-51.0% respectively). The Census Bureau’s June 2021 NSA ytd PIP results are +5.4% for total; +24.5%, residential; and -8.1%, nonresidential (i.e., nonresidential buildings plus engineering).   

PIP numbers, being more spread out, 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.

Lukewarm Construction Jobs Creation

The total number of jobs in the U.S. construction sector in July rose by a lukewarm +11,000. The year-to-date gain in employment has been +21,000 jobs. The year-over-year percentage increase in construction employment has been +3.1%, which trails the economy-wide ‘all jobs’ climb of +5.2%. But included in the +5.2% is +18.4% for the ‘leisure and hospitality’ industry which saw incredible jobs count shrinkage in bars and restaurants and hotels/motels throughout 2020 due to lockdowns and travel bans to fight COVID-19.

Construction’s NSA unemployment rate is currently 6.1%, down from 7.5% in June and markedly better than the 8.9% recorded in July 2020. Manufacturing’s 8.6% NSA U rate in July 2020 was close to construction’s figure, but it has since dropped to just 4.2%. The national NSA U rate is 5.7%. Offering encouragement for construction is the potentially trillion-dollar-plus infrastructure package that has passed the Senate and is presently before the House. Of concern, though, is the possibility of more waves of virus infections, beginning with the Delta variant.

The latest year-over-year jobs count changes for some other corners of the economy with close ties to construction have been architectural and engineering services, +5.4%; real estate activities, +4.9%; oil and gas extraction, +3.3%; building material suppliers, +2.7%; machinery and equipment rental and leasing, +1.3%; and cement and concrete product manufacturing, -1.4%. The +5.4% y/y for employment in design services is especially heartening because an uptick in composing ‘assembly instructions’ leads or points the way to more activity in the field.   

Graph 1: Change in Level of U.S. Construction Employment, Month to Month (M/M) −
Total & by Categories - July 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. 'Subtrade' in BLS data referred to as 'specialty' trade.
Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 2: U.S. Employment July 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 June 2021.
Data source: Payroll Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 3: Y/Y Jobs Change, U.S. Total Industry & Major Subsectors − July 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 ‒ July 2021

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

Government Office & Water/Sewage Starts Most Buoyant

July’s -3.1% month-to-month (m/m) decrease in total nonresidential starts was mainly due to substantial weakness in institutional work (-39.3%). Commercial (-5.4%) was also down, but not alarmingly, while engineering was ahead by one-quarter (+24.4%) and industrial doubled up (+99.8%). The Top 10 projects list (see Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. - July 2021) includes three manufacturing plants.

The +11.3% gain in July 2021’s total nonresidential starts versus July 2020 (y/y) came with support from industrial (+57.1%), engineering (+25.2%), and commercial (+16.9%). Only institutional (-19.0%) among the major type-of-structure categories showed hesitancy.

The -7.1% drop in total nonresidential starts year to date (Jan-Jul 2021/Jan-Jul 2020) has resulted from declines in commercial (-13.6%) and institutional (-11.9%), while industrial (-1.3%) and engineering (-0.6%) have stayed on almost even keels.

The two subcategories that contribute the largest shares to total nonresidential starts are roads/highways (18.4%) and schools/colleges (16.2%). Added together, their slice is more than one-third (34.6%). In July, the three time-frame metrics for street starts were +18.9% m/m, +37.4% y/y, and +4.5% ytd. For educational facilities, July’s results were -34.3% m/m, -20.3% y/y, and -17.7% ytd. Clearly, school construction has been a casualty of the pandemic.

Medical facility starts as the combination of hospitals/clinics, nursing/assisted living and ‘miscellaneous medical’ were -53.7% m/m and -33.4% y/y, but a still positive +2.9% ytd in July. At a finer level of detail, hospital/clinic starts were +35.7% ytd, but nursing/assisted living and ‘miscellaneous medical’ groundbreakings were -20.7% ytd and -26.9% ytd, respectively.

Bridge starts so far this year have been disappointing. In July, they were -4.8% m/m, -30.4% y/y, and -26.8% ytd. Apparently, they’re awaiting help from the infrastructure spending package. Water/sewage starts, though, have held up well, +8.2% m/m, +22.7% y/y, and +10.8% ytd.

Within commercial, the big news has centered on some eye-catching year-to-date pullbacks: hotels/motels, -45.3%; and private office buildings, -35.9% (although +90.5% m/m thanks mainly to the JPMorgan Chase tower in NYC). Government office buildings, though, are +23.1% ytd (with the FBI building in Alabama leading to +175.1% m/m and +157.9% y/y).

Table 2: Construction Starts in Some Additional Type of Structure Subcategories

  Jan-JUL 2021 % Change vs
  ($ billions) Jan-JUL 2020
     
Sports Stadiums/Convention Centers $2.572 -19.5%
Transportation Teminals $2.669 86.6%
Courthouses $1.591 54.5%
Police Stations & Fire Halls $1.666 -9.5%
Prisons $1.174 0.8%
Pre-School/Elementary $11.132 -22.3%
Junior & Senior High Schools $17.261 -12.0%
     K-12  (sum of above two categories) $28.393 -16.4%
Special & Vocational Schools $1.032 -19.0%
Colleges & Universities $8.145 -22.0%
Electric Power Infrastructure $7.229 172.4%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

JOLTS: Bullish Openings; Bearish ‘Hires’

Monthly JOLTS numbers are exposing quite a conundrum in the construction sector’s labor market. There’s an obvious mismatch between bullish ‘openings’ and bearish ‘hires’. JOLTS is an acronym for the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

From Graph 5, construction job ‘openings’, after dipping rather severely in 2020, have sprung back to where they’re now close to their 20-year peaks as both a level and a rate. At the same time, ‘hires’ in the sector, from Graph 6, have dived to a 20-year low as a rate and close to a 20-year low as a level. This is a reminder that normal cyclical recovery patterns don’t necessarily hold true when exiting a pandemic. As just one example, many older workers with specialized skills have read the health crisis as a warning sign to head for the sidelines and into retirement. Replacement recruits are hard to find and will need seasoning.

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 June 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 June 2021. ... JOLTS = Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Starts Trend Lines Shift from Slides to Flattening

The tendency for most of the 12-month moving average starts trend lines (Nonresidential Construction Starts Trend Graphs - July 2021) on page 9 to sink with varying degrees of rapidity has finally come to a halt. There are now only two subcategories still clearly descending, 'schools/colleges' (which is dragging down institutional as well) and bridges.

Roads/highways and water/sewage are continuing gradual upwards marches. All the other curves feature a leveling off, which is good news considering how difficult the last 16 months have been. Among major type-of-structure categories, nonresidential building and engineering are currently displaying a flattening in their curves, aided by more stable recent performances from retail, private office buildings, hospitals/clinics, and miscellaneous civil.

Wage Gains are Boosting Inflationary Expectations 

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.

During most of 2020, the year-over-year climbs in paychecks for ‘all jobs’ vastly exceeded what construction workers were seeing in compensation gains. The disappearance of a great many ‘gig’ and other part-time ‘casual’ jobs, along with special health-jeopardized ‘hazard pay’ for workers placed in harm’s way by the coronavirus, caused average pay hikes to soar.

The discrepancies, however, have now largely been eliminated. From Table B3 (including bosses), ‘all jobs’ earnings y/y in July were +4.0% hourly and +4.6% weekly. The comparable figures for construction workers, as a subset of ‘all jobs’, were +3.7% hourly and again, +3.7% weekly. From Table B8 (excluding bosses), the ‘all jobs’ y/y pay bumps were +4.7% hourly and +5.3% weekly. Construction workers weren’t far behind, at +4.4% hourly and +4.7% weekly.

Notice, however, that upward trending wages are elevating inflationary expectations. The composite hourly and weekly gain for ‘all jobs’, both including and excluding bosses, from Tables B3 and B8, has shifted higher to +4.7% from a long-term record ranging between +2.0% and +3.0%. The average for construction’s four numbers in the paragraph above is +4.1%.   
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 Nonsupervisory Personnel’ Table (B8).
The latest data points are for July 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 July 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-JUL 2021 % Change vs Jan-JUL 2020
       
1 Texas $27,644,613,497 -7.9%
2 California $20,095,139,210 -16.0%
3 Florida $13,178,584,588 -5.4%
4 New York $11,106,216,226 -12.1%
5 Ohio $9,157,021,326 13.5%
6 Pennsylvania $8,509,161,683 30.5%
7 North Carolina $7,974,170,315 22.2%
8 Illinois $7,855,767,950 -24.1%
9 Massachusetts $7,818,053,048 41.2%
10 Georgia $7,607,241,483 4.7%
11 Minnesota $6,972,638,758 23.6%
12 Tennessee $6,171,567,776 37.0%
13 Michigan $5,955,655,077 22.3%
14 Virginia $5,582,833,198 -24.3%
15 Missouri $5,315,603,117 -24.7%
16 Washington $5,006,828,023 -48.6%
17 Wisconsin $4,779,198,759 -22.1%
18 Colorado $4,487,272,923 -6.2%
19 Indiana $4,435,726,610 -15.0%
20 Arizona $4,369,372,007 -17.3%

Figures are comprised of nonres 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-JUL 2021 % Change vs Jan-JUL 2020
       
1 Texas $16,104,484,562 -21.0%
2 California $11,570,015,487 -2.5%
3 Florida $7,915,947,073 -12.2%
4 New York $6,760,892,097 -23.4%
5 Pennsylvania $5,878,888,222 74.7%
6 North Carolina $5,865,497,509 14.5%
7 Ohio $5,500,639,242 20.0%
8 Georgia $5,035,922,017 4.4%
9 Tennessee $4,972,911,187 57.3%
10 Virginia $3,970,764,517 -11.9%
11 Illinois $3,853,592,657 -32.1%
12 Arizona $3,576,755,301 -18.4%
13 Missouri $3,413,274,797 -36.7%
14 Massachusetts $3,253,195,648 -16.9%
15 Alabama $3,118,460,477 44.3%
16 Washington $3,076,850,246 -29.6%
17 Colorado $2,831,184,813 -11.8%
18 Maryland $2,609,644,233 -22.2%
19 New Jersey $2,539,593,117 6.2%
20 Michigan $2,508,510,621 -7.5%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

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

    Jan-JUL 2021 % Change vs Jan-JUL 2020
       
1 Texas $11,540,128,935 19.7%
2 California $8,525,123,723 -29.4%
3 Florida $5,262,637,515 7.2%
4 Minnesota $5,213,913,902 67.6%
5 Massachusetts $4,564,857,400 181.0%
6 New York $4,345,324,129 13.8%
7 Illinois $4,002,175,293 -14.3%
8 Ohio $3,656,382,084 4.9%
9 Michigan $3,447,144,456 59.8%
10 Pennsylvania $2,630,273,461 -16.6%
11 Wisconsin $2,577,323,282 9.2%
12 Georgia $2,571,319,466 5.3%
13 Indiana $2,133,026,490 -10.5%
14 North Carolina $2,108,672,806 49.9%
15 Washington $1,929,977,777 -64.1%
16 Missouri $1,902,328,320 14.3%
17 Maine $1,769,124,708 133.1%
18 New Jersey $1,768,039,077 -20.0%
19 Iowa $1,720,937,546 -7.1%
20 Colorado $1,656,088,110 5.3%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

Lumber Prices Down, but Steel & Aluminum Still Climbing

July 2021’s y/y results for three structures-related BLS Producer Price Index (PPI) series were as follows: ‘construction materials special index’, +33.1% (still jaw-droppingly high, but off a bit from June’s +34.1%); ‘inputs to new construction index, excluding capital investment, labor and imports’, +25.4% (again a stunningly high number, but also a small retreat from the previous month’s figure, +26.1%) and ‘final demand construction’, designed to capture bid prices, +4.5% (ahead slightly from the previous month’s +3.5%). Two months ago (May 2021), the PPI for softwood lumber was +154.3% y/y; now it’s +45.0% y/y. Forestry products have stepped back from spiking. Steel and aluminum product prices, however, are still on the ascendant.

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. 

July 2021’s ‘Grand Total’ Starts +6.1% YTD

From Table 8 of this report below, ConstructConnect’s total residential starts in July were +12.3% m/m, +29.2% y/y and +26.2% ytd. Multi-family starts went through another rough patch, -22.2% m/m and -24.7% y/y, but +1.5% ytd. Single-family starts, however, were robust, +21.8% m/m, +47.8% y/y and +36.3% ytd. Including home building with all nonresidential categories, Grand Total starts in July 2021 were +3.9% m/m, +19.4% y/y and +6.1% 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 - July 2021 PDF.

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

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

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

    % Change   % Change   % Change
  Jan-JuL 21 Jan-JuL 21 vs    JuL 21 vs   JuL 21 vs
  ($ billions) Jan-JuL 20   JuL 20   JUN 21
             
Hotel/Motel 3.942 -45.3%   -15.6%   -6.3%
Retail 7.558 3.5%   -22.8%   -47.4%
Parking Garage 1.101 0.8%   79.6%   55.4%
Amusement 4.167 8.0%   189.4%   65.3%
Private Office  8.739 -35.9%   27.1%   90.5%
Government Office 7.189 23.1%   157.9%   175.1%
Laboratory 1.060 -18.4%   62.2%   28.4%
Warehouse 13.384 -15.2%   -18.4%   -13.1%
Miscellaneous Commercial* 5.241 13.3%   -67.5%   -87.8%
COMMERCIAL (big subset) 52.378 -13.6%   16.9%   -5.4%
             
INDUSTRIAL (Manufacturing) 10.995 -1.3%   57.1%   99.8%
             
Religious 0.493 -47.2%   -60.1%   -56.1%
Hospital/Clinic 10.180 35.7%   -23.1%   -53.2%
Nursing/Assisted Living 3.286 -20.7%   -32.2%   -65.6%
Library/Museum 1.536 -46.3%   15.1%   16.5%
Police/Courthouse/Prison 4.431 9.8%   6.1%   -27.1%
Military 5.193 0.2%   20.1%   -47.6%
School/College 37.570 -17.7%   -20.3%   -34.3%
Miscellaneous Medical 3.617 -26.9%   -48.5%   -42.2%
INSTITUTIONAL 66.306 -11.9%   -19.0%   -39.3%
             
Miscellaneous Nonresidential 3.533 8.4%   39.8%   22.1%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 133.212 -11.4%   0.6%   -20.1%
             
Airport 3.004 -10.4%   -18.3%   -27.0%
Road/Highway 42.474 4.5%   37.4%   18.9%
Bridge 11.651 -26.8%   -30.4%   -4.8%
Dam/Marine 3.662 -21.8%   0.3%   -18.0%
Water/Sewage 20.889 10.8%   22.7%   8.2%
Miscellaneous Civil (power, pipelines, etc.) 16.460 7.6%   63.2%   144.1%
HEAVY ENGINEERING (Civil) 98.139 -0.6%   25.2%   24.4%
             
TOTAL NONRESIDENTIAL 231.352 -7.1%   11.3%   -3.1%

*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-Jul 21 Jan-Jul 21 vs     Jul 21 vs Jul 21 vs
      ($ billions) Jan-Jun 20     Jun 20 Jun 21
                 
Summary              
CIVIL     98.139 -0.6%     25.2% 24.4%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 133.212 -11.4%     0.6% -20.1%
RESIDENTIAL   207.005 26.2%     29.2% 12.3%
GRAND TOTAL   438.356 6.1%     19.4% 3.9%
                 
Verticals              
    Airport 3.004 -10.4%     -18.3% -27.0%
    All Other Civil 9.231 -27.0%     -40.5% 13.4%
    Bridges 11.651 -26.8%     -30.4% -4.8%
    Dams / Canals / Marine Work 3.662 -21.8%     0.3% -18.0%
    Power Infrastructure 7.229 172.4%     575.5% 390.9%
    Roads 42.474 4.5%     37.4% 18.9%
    Water and Sewage Treatment 20.889 10.8%     22.7% 8.2%
CIVIL     98.139 -0.6%     25.2% 24.4%
    Offices (private) 8.739 -35.9%     27.1% 90.5%
    Parking Garages 1.101 0.8%     79.6% 55.4%
    Transportation Terminals 2.669 86.6%     53.2% -89.8%
  Commercial (small subset) 12.508 -22.6%     32.7% -29.2%
    Amusement 4.167 8.0%     189.4% 65.3%
    Libraries / Museums 1.536 -46.3%     15.1% 16.5%
    Religious 0.493 -47.2%     -60.1% -56.1%
    Sports Arenas / Convention Centers 2.572 -19.5%     -86.0% -82.1%
  Community 8.769 -19.2%     -0.9% -6.5%
    College / University 8.145 -22.0%     -8.2% 26.0%
    Elementary / Pre School 11.132 -22.3%     -22.9% -52.4%
    Jr / Sr High School 17.261 -12.0%     -28.4% -41.0%
    Special / Vocational 1.032 -19.0%     39.3% -30.6%
  Educational 37.570 -17.7%     -20.3% -34.3%
    Courthouses 1.591 54.5%     173.5% -17.7%
    Fire and Police Stations 1.666 -9.5%     -37.1% -17.5%
    Government Offices 7.189 23.1%     157.9% 175.1%
    Prisons 1.174 0.8%     -29.2% -49.4%
  Government 11.620 17.7%     95.0% 69.2%
    Industrial Labs / Labs / School Labs 1.060 -18.4%     62.2% 28.4%
    Manufacturing 10.995 -1.3%     57.1% 99.8%
    Warehouses 13.384 -15.2%     -18.4% -13.1%
  Industrial 25.438 -9.8%     12.9% 25.8%
    Hospitals / Clinics 10.180 35.7%     -23.1% -53.2%
    Medical Misc. 3.617 -26.9%     -48.5% -42.2%
    Nursing Homes 3.286 -20.7%     -32.2% -65.6%
  Medical   17.084 2.9%     -33.4% -53.7%
  Military   5.193 0.2%     20.1% -47.6%
    Hotels 3.942 -45.3%     -15.6% -6.3%
    Retail Misc. 3.533 8.4%     39.8% 22.1%
    Shopping 7.558 3.5%     -22.8% -47.4%
  Retail   15.032 -15.4%     -9.3% -25.1%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 133.212 -11.4%     0.6% -20.1%
    Multi-Family 48.426 1.5%     -24.7% -22.2%
    Single-Family 158.579 36.3%     47.8% 21.8%
RESIDENTIAL   207.005 26.2%     29.2% 12.3%
NONRESIDENTIAL 231.352 -7.1%     11.3% -3.1%
GRAND TOTAL   438.356 6.1%     19.4% 3.9%

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-JUL JAN-JUL
  MAY 21 JUN 21 JUL 21 MAY 21 JUN 21 JUL 21 MAY 21 JUN 21 JUL 21 2020 2021
                       
Single Family 22.603 25.122 30.591 22.807 23.265 26.105 20.448 20.973 21.797 116.307 158.579
   month-over-month % change 2.4% 11.1% 21.8% 9.1% 2.0% 12.2% 3.3% 2.6% 3.9%    
   year-over-year % change 53.2% 33.4% 47.8% 51.2% 46.8% 44.3% 25.0% 27.7% 31.2% 0.5% 36.3%
Apartment 7.030 6.885 5.359 7.677 7.696 6.425 7.007 6.954 6.807 47.687 48.426
   month-over-month % change -23.4% -2.1% -22.2% -3.3% 0.2% -16.5% 0.6% -0.8% -2.1%    
   year-over-year % change 7.7% -8.5% -24.7% 20.3% 17.5% -8.9% -12.5% -12.7% -15.1% -5.7% 1.5%
TOTAL RESIDENTIAL 29.634 32.006 35.951 30.484 30.962 32.530 27.455 27.927 28.604 163.994 207.005
   month-over-month % change -5.2% 8.0% 12.3% 5.7% 1.6% 5.1% 2.6% 1.7% 2.4%    
   year-over-year % change 39.3% 21.5% 29.2% 42.0% 38.3% 29.3% 12.7% 14.5% 16.1% -1.3% 26.2%
Hotel/Motel 0.537 0.698 0.654 0.599 0.629 0.629 0.577 0.592 0.582 7.206 3.942
   month-over-month % change -17.7% 30.0% -6.3% 13.5% 5.1% 0.1% 2.3% 2.6% -1.7%    
   year-over-year % change 40.9% 34.2% -15.6% -24.4% 0.0% 12.7% -64.8% -61.2% -60.3% -45.3% -45.3%
Retail 1.258 1.525 0.802 1.159 1.299 1.195 1.023 1.064 1.044 7.304 7.558
   month-over-month % change 13.0% 21.2% -47.4% 15.2% 12.1% -8.0% 3.1% 4.0% -1.9%    
   year-over-year % change 42.3% 47.9% -22.8% 9.2% 33.2% 21.3% -12.6% -3.9% -4.6% -31.6% 3.5%
Parking Garages 0.119 0.115 0.178 0.113 0.096 0.138 0.140 0.140 0.146 1.092 1.101
   month-over-month % change 119.0% -3.8% 55.4% -26.4% -14.7% 42.9% -5.0% -0.4% 4.7%    
   year-over-year % change -42.4% -5.9% 79.6% -19.8% -28.2% -3.7% -34.2% -28.5% -15.9% -49.7% 0.8%
Amusement 0.518 0.662 1.094 0.515 0.529 0.758 0.486 0.496 0.556 3.858 4.167
   month-over-month % change 27.7% 27.9% 65.3% 5.5% 2.7% 43.4% 2.2% 2.0% 12.0%    
   year-over-year % change 32.6% 22.0% 189.4% -7.4% -0.8% 73.4% -25.6% -22.2% -2.0% -17.0% 8.0%
Office 0.987 0.880 1.677 1.218 1.051 1.181 1.770 1.701 1.731 13.640 8.739
   month-over-month % change -23.3% -10.8% 90.5% -3.9% -13.7% 12.4% -0.5% -3.9% 1.8%    
   year-over-year % change -10.2% -48.5% 27.1% -15.2% -33.5% -14.1% -39.9% -37.0% -31.4% -31.5% -35.9%
Governmental Offices 0.983 0.797 2.191 0.931 0.904 1.324 0.898 0.889 1.001 5.838 7.189
   month-over-month % change 5.5% -19.0% 175.1% 6.4% -2.9% 46.4% 2.6% -1.0% 12.6%    
   year-over-year % change 39.2% -11.8% 157.9% 10.8% 8.5% 61.5% -9.7% -9.3% 10.3% -12.8% 23.1%
Laboratories 0.108 0.182 0.233 0.142 0.122 0.174 0.169 0.165 0.172 1.298 1.060
   month-over-month % change 39.8% 68.3% 28.4% -8.0% -13.8% 42.5% 1.7% -2.1% 4.5%    
   year-over-year % change 44.0% -19.2% 62.2% 27.6% -1.7% 17.9% -17.3% -22.9% -20.7% 17.5% -18.4%
Warehouse 2.001 1.708 1.485 2.480 2.254 1.731 2.089 1.999 1.971 15.777 13.384
   month-over-month % change -34.5% -14.6% -13.1% 9.1% -9.1% -23.2% -1.2% -4.3% -1.4%    
   year-over-year % change -13.5% -38.7% -18.4% 16.7% -12.3% -24.9% 0.5% -5.9% -8.3% 25.6% -15.2%
Misc Commercial 0.397 2.546 0.310 0.618 1.178 1.084 0.511 0.678 0.624 4.625 5.241
   month-over-month % change -32.8% 541.7% -87.8% 8.2% 90.6% -7.9% -1.6% 32.7% -7.9%    
   year-over-year % change -20.4% 369.1% -67.5% 7.3% 117.7% 63.2% -56.5% -42.4% -39.0% -64.2% 13.3%
TOTAL COMMERCIAL 6.908 9.113 8.624 7.774 8.062 8.215 7.663 7.724 7.828 60.639 52.378
   month-over-month % change -15.4% 31.9% -5.4% 6.3% 3.7% 1.9% 0.4% 0.8% 1.3%    
   year-over-year % change 5.4% 8.7% 16.9% 1.8% 1.8% 10.4% -30.8% -27.6% -22.7% -27.7% -13.6%
TOTAL INDUSTRIAL  (Manufacturing) 1.932 0.891 1.780 2.015 1.287 1.534 1.722 1.730 1.783 11.141 10.995
   month-over-month % change 86.3% -53.9% 99.8% 29.4% -36.1% 19.2% -3.2% 0.4% 3.1%    
   year-over-year % change -26.0% 10.9% 57.1% 17.4% -23.9% 1.2% -47.0% -46.6% -32.9% -68.2% -1.3%
Religious 0.083 0.082 0.036 0.091 0.082 0.067 0.108 0.104 0.100 0.935 0.493
   month-over-month % change 3.6% -2.0% -56.1% 10.2% -10.4% -18.1% -3.0% -3.4% -4.3%    
   year-over-year % change -32.1% -34.6% -60.1% -41.5% -23.1% -40.5% -28.3% -27.3% -28.3% -19.2% -47.2%
Hosptials/Clinics 0.553 1.877 0.878 1.809 1.137 1.102 1.274 1.344 1.322 7.504 10.180
   month-over-month % change -43.7% 239.6% -53.2% -10.5% -37.1% -3.1% -3.8% 5.5% -1.6%    
   year-over-year % change -52.0% 80.4% -23.1% 106.4% 12.4% -0.7% -28.4% -21.1% -14.8% -29.7% 35.7%
Nursing/Assisted Living 0.487 0.778 0.267 0.528 0.583 0.511 0.544 0.557 0.547 4.142 3.286
   month-over-month % change 1.0% 59.6% -65.6% 26.6% 10.4% -12.3% 0.2% 2.4% -1.9%    
   year-over-year % change 3.2% 25.5% -32.2% -10.0% -0.5% 3.1% -18.0% -16.0% -14.6% -31.6% -20.7%
Libraries/Museums 0.349 0.227 0.264 0.231 0.226 0.280 0.203 0.195 0.198 2.860 1.536
   month-over-month % change 241.7% -35.0% 16.5% 37.5% -2.4% 23.9% 0.4% -4.0% 1.5%    
   year-over-year % change 2.7% -30.3% 15.1% -19.0% -27.8% -6.1% -49.7% -51.5% -48.1% 21.5% -46.3%
Police/Courthouse/Prison 0.482 0.875 0.638 0.512 0.654 0.665 0.673 0.704 0.707 4.036 4.431
   month-over-month % change -20.0% 81.4% -27.1% 1.1% 27.6% 1.8% 1.0% 4.5% 0.4%    
   year-over-year % change 19.1% 71.2% 6.1% -0.7% 40.1% 31.5% 8.9% 15.3% 13.0% 16.2% 9.8%
Military 0.747 1.358 0.712 0.643 0.786 0.939 0.700 0.758 0.768 5.180 5.193
   month-over-month % change 197.0% 81.7% -47.6% 25.7% 22.1% 19.5% 3.1% 8.4% 1.3%    
   year-over-year % change 51.2% 107.1% 20.1% -35.4% -24.1% 61.7% 10.6% 15.3% 13.4% 146.5% 0.2%
Schools/Colleges 6.303 7.641 5.020 5.571 6.632 6.321 5.219 5.055 4.948 45.667 37.570
   month-over-month % change 5.9% 21.2% -34.3% 15.5% 19.0% -4.7% -1.6% -3.2% -2.1%    
   year-over-year % change -13.7% -20.5% -20.3% -20.2% -14.1% -18.3% -14.1% -14.6% -15.8% -10.5% -17.7%
Misc Government 0.449 0.723 0.418 0.512 0.610 0.530 0.578 0.599 0.567 4.951 3.617
   month-over-month % change -31.7% 61.1% -42.2% -5.9% 19.0% -13.1% -5.4% 3.7% -5.5%    
   year-over-year % change -46.9% 54.3% -48.5% -41.2% -3.3% -25.2% -23.6% -15.2% -21.6% -11.9% -26.9%
TOTAL INSTITUTIONAL 9.454 13.561 8.232 9.898 10.708 10.416 9.300 9.316 9.156 75.275 66.306
   month-over-month % change 3.8% 43.4% -39.3% 9.1% 8.2% -2.7% -1.5% 0.2% -1.7%    
   year-over-year % change -15.1% 1.5% -19.0% -12.2% -9.8% -9.8% -16.1% -13.8% -13.7% -8.7% -11.9%
Misc Non Residential 0.642 0.442 0.539 0.531 0.524 0.541 0.496 0.488 0.501 3.261 3.533
   month-over-month % change 31.8% -31.2% 22.1% 9.6% -1.4% 3.3% 3.9% -1.6% 2.6%    
   year-over-year % change 53.8% -18.1% 39.8% 18.4% 14.7% 20.9% -16.8% -17.3% -12.4% -19.8% 8.4%
TOTAL NONRES BUILDING 18.936 24.006 19.176 20.218 20.581 20.706 19.181 19.257 19.267 150.316 133.212
   month-over-month % change 0.7% 26.8% -20.1% 9.7% 1.8% 0.6% -0.8% 0.4% 0.1%    
   year-over-year % change -8.6% 4.0% 0.6% -4.0% -6.2% -1.2% -26.2% -23.9% -19.6% -26.8% -11.4%
Airports 0.751 0.765 0.559 0.452 0.639 0.692 0.494 0.484 0.473 3.355 3.004
   month-over-month % change 86.6% 1.9% -27.0% 69.3% 41.6% 8.1% 3.6% -2.1% -2.2%    
   year-over-year % change 38.1% -14.1% -18.3% -5.1% 10.3% -2.1% -7.9% -13.9% -11.0% -23.2% -10.4%
Roads/Highways 7.758 6.837 8.129 6.791 7.249 7.575 5.295 5.273 5.457 40.639 42.474
   month-over-month % change 8.4% -11.9% 18.9% 25.9% 6.8% 4.5% 1.5% -0.4% 3.5%    
   year-over-year % change 14.1% -3.7% 37.4% 1.7% 0.9% 14.6% -3.6% -4.6% 1.8% -2.3% 4.5%
Bridges 1.673 1.567 1.491 1.803 1.747 1.577 1.711 1.597 1.542 15.906 11.651
   month-over-month % change -16.4% -6.3% -4.8% 11.9% -3.1% -9.7% -1.6% -6.7% -3.4%    
   year-over-year % change -16.5% -46.7% -30.4% -19.2% -22.3% -33.2% -20.4% -27.5% -30.4% -18.5% -26.8%
Dams/Marine 0.487 0.660 0.541 0.532 0.571 0.562 0.606 0.605 0.605 4.683 3.662
   month-over-month % change -14.2% 35.5% -18.0% 5.0% 7.5% -1.6% -4.9% -0.2% 0.0%    
   year-over-year % change -43.8% -2.2% 0.3% -27.9% -24.2% -18.9% -15.5% -11.2% -11.0% -7.6% -21.8%
Water/Sewage 3.697 3.279 3.549 3.003 3.187 3.508 2.731 2.717 2.772 18.853 20.889
   month-over-month % change 43.0% -11.3% 8.2% 23.0% 6.1% 10.1% 4.7% -0.5% 2.0%    
   year-over-year % change 65.7% -4.9% 22.7% 7.4% 10.6% 22.8% 5.6% 2.2% 4.7% 0.7% 10.8%
Misc Civil 1.157 1.705 4.163 1.723 1.763 2.342 1.876 1.850 1.984 15.291 16.460
   month-over-month % change -52.3% 47.4% 144.1% 9.9% 2.3% 32.8% -10.5% -1.4% 7.3%    
   year-over-year % change -69.5% -15.6% 63.2% -22.6% -25.1% -16.0% -52.3% -47.9% -45.4% -14.4% 7.6%
TOTAL ENGINEERING 15.521 14.813 18.431 14.304 15.157 16.255 12.713 12.525 12.833 98.726 98.139
   month-over-month % change 2.5% -4.6% 24.4% 21.3% 6.0% 7.2% -0.5% -1.5% 2.5%    
   year-over-year % change -4.4% -13.2% 25.2% -5.6% -5.3% 1.5% -17.5% -17.5% -14.8% -7.8% -0.6%
GRAND TOTAL 64.091 70.825 73.557 65.006 66.699 69.491 59.350 59.709 60.705 413.035 438.356
   month-over-month % change -1.7% 10.5% 3.9% 10.0% 2.6% 4.2% 0.8% 0.6% 1.7%    
   year-over-year % change 10.1% 6.5% 19.4% 12.7% 10.5% 11.9% -9.8% -7.9% -4.7% -13.7% 6.1%
NONRES BLDG + ENGINEERING 34.458 38.819 37.617 34.522 35.737 36.961 31.894 31.782 32.101 249.041 231.352
   month-over-month % change 1.5% 12.7% -3.1% 14.2% 3.5% 3.4% -0.6% -0.4% 1.0%    
   year-over-year % change -6.8% -3.4% 11.3% -4.7% -5.8% 0.0% -23.0% -21.5% -17.8% -20.3% -7.1%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

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

  JAN-JUL 2020   JAN-JUL 2021   % Change
           
Connecticut $2,465,575,908   $1,612,432,196   -34.6%
Maine $1,067,946,167   $2,333,193,534   118.5%
Massachusetts $5,538,152,649   $7,818,053,048   41.2%
New Hampshire $695,686,726   $987,064,460   41.9%
Rhode Island $424,607,143   $659,142,532   55.2%
Vermont $438,674,484   $286,467,534   -34.7%
Total New England $10,630,643,077   $13,696,353,304   28.8%
New Jersey $4,603,576,945   $4,307,632,194   -6.4%
New York $12,637,859,469   $11,106,216,226   -12.1%
Pennsylvania $6,520,295,422   $8,509,161,683   30.5%
Total Middle Atlantic $23,761,731,836   $23,923,010,103   0.7%
TOTAL NORTHEAST $34,392,374,913   $37,619,363,407   9.4%
Illinois $10,346,270,894   $7,855,767,950   -24.1%
Indiana $5,215,836,014   $4,435,726,610   -15.0%
Michigan $4,868,657,713   $5,955,655,077   22.3%
Ohio $8,069,042,535   $9,157,021,326   13.5%
Wisconsin $6,136,173,451   $4,779,198,759   -22.1%
Total East North Central $34,635,980,607   $32,183,369,722   -7.1%
Iowa $3,575,985,971   $3,546,355,836   -0.8%
Kansas $3,028,299,879   $1,934,888,439   -36.1%
Minnesota $5,642,604,525   $6,972,638,758   23.6%
Missouri $7,056,305,192   $5,315,603,117   -24.7%
Nebraska $3,032,767,885   $2,318,993,454   -23.5%
North Dakota $1,693,791,769   $1,359,848,647   -19.7%
South Dakota $836,220,139   $1,054,863,814   26.1%
Total West North Central $24,865,975,360   $22,503,192,065   -9.5%
TOTAL MIDWEST $59,501,955,967   $54,686,561,787   -8.1%
Delaware $1,158,238,414   $644,203,937   -44.4%
District of Columbia $525,415,750   $578,563,205   10.1%
Florida $13,926,527,343   $13,178,584,588   -5.4%
Georgia $7,267,381,179   $7,607,241,483   4.7%
Maryland $4,405,912,426   $3,266,278,709   -25.9%
North Carolina $6,527,442,782   $7,974,170,315   22.2%
South Carolina $3,483,422,226   $3,249,041,659   -6.7%
Virginia $7,377,228,732   $5,582,833,198   -24.3%
West Virginia $1,737,101,964   $704,173,928   -59.5%
Total South Atlantic $46,408,670,816   $42,785,091,022   -7.8%
Alabama $3,193,389,122   $4,333,033,395   35.7%
Kentucky $2,033,706,446   $2,023,480,625   -0.5%
Mississippi $1,966,942,611   $1,141,050,344   -42.0%
Tennessee $4,503,306,740   $6,171,567,776   37.0%
Total East South Central $11,697,344,919   $13,669,132,140   16.9%
Arkansas $2,406,814,611   $1,358,895,701   -43.5%
Louisiana $2,670,431,467   $3,167,457,326   18.6%
Oklahoma $2,448,969,243   $2,575,235,840   5.2%
Texas $30,018,221,155   $27,644,613,497   -7.9%
Total West South Central $37,544,436,476   $34,746,202,364   -7.5%
TOTAL SOUTH $95,650,452,211   $91,200,425,526   -4.7%
Arizona $5,286,511,838   $4,369,372,007   -17.3%
Colorado $4,783,245,702   $4,487,272,923   -6.2%
Idaho $1,009,959,446   $730,604,956   -27.7%
Montana $946,864,848   $683,243,597   -27.8%
Nevada $2,635,298,464   $2,450,387,745   -7.0%
New Mexico $1,210,806,601   $1,153,753,008   -4.7%
Utah $4,772,983,377   $3,285,092,444   -31.2%
Wyoming $636,214,294   $716,305,394   12.6%
Total Mountain $21,281,884,570   $17,876,032,074   -16.0%
Alaska $771,263,681   $743,882,924   -3.6%
California $23,934,189,969   $20,095,139,210   -16.0%
Hawaii $1,074,360,605   $1,051,660,600   -2.1%
Oregon $2,694,331,511   $3,071,619,666   14.0%
Washington $9,740,592,851   $5,006,828,023   -48.6%
Total Pacific $38,214,738,617   $29,969,130,423   -21.6%
TOTAL WEST $59,496,623,187   $47,845,162,497   -19.6%
TOTAL U.S. $249,041,406,278   $231,351,513,217   -7.1%

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

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

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.