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By: Alex Carrick on April 14th, 2020

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Nonresidential Construction Starts -13.4% YTD in Q1, But Where to Now?

Economic News | Industry Snapshot

Under the Circumstances, March Starts Stats Held up Well

ConstructConnect announced today that the latest month’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $30.8 billion (green shaded box, Table 3 below), an increase of one-fifth (+21.1%) versus February’s figure of $25.5 billion (originally reported as $23.8 billion).

Nonresidential Construction Starts -13.4% Ytd in Q1, But Where to Now? Graphic

The month-to-month gain was due to school projects (+62.8%) and engineering works (+59.3%). March can often be the first month in the year when there is a pick-up in construction activity thanks to more favorable weather, as winter’s frostiness gives way to spring’s balmier breezes.

 
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March 2020 nonresidential starts may have been up versus February, but they were no match for March of last year, -25.8%. Furthermore, at -20.2%, they failed to keep up with the average for March over the five-year period 2015 to 2019 inclusive.

Year to date nonresidential starts in March 2020 were -13.4% compared with the same first-to-third-month period of last year (i.e., Q1 2020 relative to Q1 2019).

Q1 Holds Little Relevance Moving Forward

The foregoing may be interesting to note, but it holds little relevance for the construction market moving forward. Nor is there much point in proceeding through this current Industry Snapshot checking off the same topic boxes (e.g., JOLTS results) as in previous versions. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the general economy and its accompanying construction scene are undergoing negative change with too great rapidity.

The extraordinary extent and swiftness of the deterioration are captured in Graph 1. Over just the latest three weeks, initial jobless claims in the U.S. have reached a cumulative 16.8 million. The weekly tallies have been 3.3, 6.9, and 6.6 million. The worst week in the 2008-2009 recession yielded a figure of 670,000, which has been rendered minuscule by the numbers now being generated.

Graph 2 shows the dramatic drop in the ‘official’ total number of jobs in March (-710,000) as reported in the latest Employment Situation report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The numbers in Graph 1, however, make clear that Graph 2 doesn’t come even close to showing the jobs carnage that will be apparent when April’s employment results are released in early May.

Graph 2 is based on figures derived from a survey of employers conducted in the first half of March. There was a falling-off-the-cliff moment in the middle of the month. The early-March job losses were almost entirely in the ‘hospitality and leisure’ sector (e.g., hotels, restaurants, and bars). The layoffs and furloughs since then have widened and deepened across multiple sectors.

Semi-Comforting News Replaced by All-Out Alarm

Construction employment in March was down by -29,000 jobs. But the sector’s year-over-year employment performance remained positive, at +2.2%.

The U.S. total jobs change in March was still slightly positive, +1.0%. March data, however, has become way out of date. Semi-comforting news has been replaced by all-out alarm.

The national unemployment percentage rate will almost certainly soar into the high teens and ‘real’ (i.e., after inflation) gross domestic product (GDP) change will sink by a fifth to a quarter (annualized) in Q2. If the pandemic has run its course by mid-summer, there is hope for cheerier news in late fall, as massive stimulus expenditures and quantitative easing build fuller momentum.

ConstructConnect has developed a ‘first appearance’ statistic. On a seven-day rolling forward basis, the ‘first appearance’ metric keeps track of the number of construction projects (mainly in the planning stage) that are newly uncovered by ConstructConnect’s team of researchers for insertion into the company’s database. On April 9th, the ‘first appearance’ figure for the U.S. was -26% month over month and -29% versus the same time last year.

Graph 1: U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Weekly
U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Weekly Chart
Data source: Department of Labor.
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 2: U.S.: Month-to-month Total Jobs Creation

U.S.: Month-to-month Total Jobs Creation Chart
Data source: Payroll Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

The Construction Starts Outlook

A more productive exercise than looking at how the starts have been performing through March, is to consider what their prospects are, by type of structure, into early 2021.

Residential ‒ The surge in job losses, with accompanying declines in income (partially offset by government earnings supplement plans), will take away the confidence needed to go ahead with new home purchases. Also, with shelter-in-place guidelines in effect, ‘open houses’ and model home visits are being curtailed. Some sales will proceed regardless, as the most intrepid (or desperate) buyers shop and finalize transactions online.

American housing starts, which were perking up nicely at the tail-end of 2019 and into the early days of 2020, will disappoint for the rest of the year. The massive shift towards working from home that is underway may alter the singles-versus-multiples balance in favor of the former, since one of its former chief negatives, commuting, has been taken off the board.

There’s also an important demographic change underway that will have not only strong residential construction implications but will also have spreading impacts for nonresidential building and engineering construction as well. America’s population growth is coming to a stall. The resident count climb of only +0.5% in 2019 was thanks to immigration. The number of immigrant arrivals presently, and for the foreseeable future, is going to be next to zero.

Nonresidential Building ‒ It can safely be said there isn’t going to be a great deal of new hotel and motel construction over the next while. Travel between countries has nearly dried up. At the least, it requires being prepared to spend two weeks in quarantine upon arrival. Estimates have placed the unoccupied-hotel-room rate above 75%.

Restaurant and conference hall closures are widespread. They’ve fallen victim to government bans on gatherings of five or more individuals. Some eating establishments (especially fast food places) are trying to survive through take-out, curbside, and delivery orders. Grocery store business, though, may be continuing at a pace better than expected. Such operations have been judged ‘essential’ and early-hour openings for seniors add an interesting new retail wrinkle.

Nevertheless, restrictions on the number of people allowed into grocery stores at any one time are a drawback. As with many things shopping-related, purchases have moved to the Internet.

‘Bricks and mortar’ retail construction has been bleak for years, and the deceleration is being made worse by the COVID-19 crisis. On the other hand, the need for distribution center construction to satisfy the explosion in order-placing digitally seems set to keep mushrooming.

Construction on a couple of new NFL stadiums is underway, in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and the expectation is that work will be allowed to continue. As for the future of sporting events, attracting the crowds of old will necessitate assurance that the coronavirus is in check, either through a vaccine or medicines that obviate the prospect of intubation. As for many other forms of entertainment, they’ve moved into people’s homes through downloading and data streaming.

The future of office building construction appears to be in jeopardy. Much of the new square footage that has been taken up in office towers over the last several years has been to house high-tech workers. Now that those workers have been dislodged, as part of ‘social distancing,’ and they are managing to function okay at home, there’s an awkward question for developers hanging in the air. Tenants will be wondering why they are bothering to lease space and pay rent.

Manufacturing construction, which has been in the doldrums for more than a decade, due to offshoring of work, may be about to experience a revival. The international supply chain interruptions ‒ for example, due to factory closures in China, when the coronavirus contagion was at its most virulent ‒ that have inconvenienced many major firms, will likely lead to some degree of deglobalization and more production of components at home.

One segment of the manufacturing sector that was ‘hot’ last year, mega projects in the energy sphere, (e.g., refineries and LNG facilities), is not likely to ignite any sparks this year. Capital spending can’t be warranted when the global price of oil has dropped near $20 USD per barrel.

The ‘public’ portion of spending on educational facilities helps to establish a floor level, and renovation work tied to ensuring the safety of children will continue to proceed. But there are two negative factors to consider. First, institutions of higher learning were previously able to tap their escalating endowment funds for expansion money. Stock market collapses, of late, have sidelined that option. Second, the previously mentioned slowing in population growth, as well as the drop-off in foreign student enrollments, will both weigh on future school construction.

Medical facility construction is receiving a boost from the building of ‘surge’ hospitals to handle overflows of patients that have contracted the coronavirus. One lesson to be learned from this pandemic is the need for capacity increases to handle out-of-the-ordinary and out-of-left-field illness events. At the same time, though, a big advance in offerings of ‘telemedicine’ is somewhat mitigating new square footage demand for patient care.

There’s also much to be done on the health care design side, especially with respect to separating contaminated patients from the general population. Rethinking the patterning of interior layouts has become imperative for passenger and navy ships, prisons, hospitals, and, perhaps most critically of all, seniors’ homes.

Engineering/Civil ‒ Much of engineering construction depends on the ‘public’ purse. Since the financing is established in advance through government budgets, it tends to be more stable than privately-funded endeavors. Infrastructure works in transportation and telecommunications have long been deemed essential to maintain America’s competitive edge.

Again, though, there are some quickly developing broader issues that are stirring up headwinds for engineering/civil construction. These are not normal times for government spending initiatives. Spending of $2 trillion (relative to an annual $22 trillion economy) is being earmarked for stimulus spending, but it will go mainly towards unemployment insurance and keeping small business firms afloat, as well providing support for hardest-pressed sectors (e.g., the airlines).

Every major airport in the country has billion-dollar expansion plans on the drawing boards. It would hardly be surprising if a high proportion of those dreams were to dissipate under today’s harsh light.

Street and road and sewer and waterworks projects are often tied to residential construction, which will be hitting pause until much later this year, at the earliest.

As for potential mega project work (i.e., projects of a billion dollars or more each), there’s talk of TC Energy beginning construction on the Keystone XL oil pipeline expansion, from Hardisty Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska. If this truly does occur, and false initiation signals have previously been run up the flagpole, the timing will be interesting. Potential protesters are in not-judicial, but rather health-related, lockdown.

Finally, if there’s one corner of engineering construction that has proven its worth above all others in this pandemic, it’s telecommunications availability and reliability. To the extent the economy is functioning at all, it’s thanks to the gazillions of messages that are zig-zagging back and forth in cyberspace.    

Construction Sector’s Wage Gains Below ‘All Jobs’ Benchmarks

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 March’s BLS Table B-3 (including supervisory personnel), the ‘all-jobs’ y/y earnings increases were +3.1% hourly and +2.2% weekly. The construction-worker subset, at +2.7% hourly and +1.9% weekly, didn’t do quite as well. A similar pattern prevailed in Table B-8 (i.e., the one which leaves out bosses). From the second table, economy-wide workers realized pay gains of +3.4% hourly and +2.5% weekly, while construction workers received lesser compensation climbs of +2.6% hourly and +2.1% weekly.

Construction Costing ‒ 3 PPI Series

March 2020’s y/y results for three BLS Producer Price Index (PPI) series were as follows: ‘construction materials special index’, -0.8% (less negative than February’s -1.6%); ‘inputs to new construction index, excluding capital investment, labor, and imports,’ 0.0% (down from February’s +1.6%); and ‘final demand construction’, +3.7% (almost staying level with the previous month’s +3.8%).

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. 

‘Grand Total’ Starts -9.1% Ytd

From Table 3 below, ConstructConnect’s total residential starts in March were -1.2% m/m, -9.7% y/y and -2.3% ytd. The latest month’s multiple-unit starts were +8.9% m/m, but -35.4% y/y and -30.4% ytd. Single-family starts displayed an opposite pattern. They were -3.8% m/m, but +2.6% y/y and +11.9% ytd. Combining residential and nonresidential, ‘Grand Total’ construction starts in the March 2020 were +10.8% m/m, but -20.0% y/y and -9.1% ytd.

ConstructConnect has moved to a better-targeted and research-assigned ‘start’ date. (Prior to January 2017, the ‘start’ date was recorded as occurring within 30 to 60 days of the announced bid 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.

Click here to download the Construction Industry Snapshot Package - March 2020 PDF.

Click here for the Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. - March 2020.

Click here for the Nonresidential Construction Starts Trend Graphs - March 2020.

TABLE 1: VALUE OF UNITED STATES CONSTRUCTION STARTS
MARCH 2020 – CONSTRUCTCONNECT

    % Change   % Change   % Change
  Jan-mar 20 Jan-mar 20 vs    mar 20 vs   mar 20 vs
  ($ billions) Jan-mar 19   mar 19   feb 20
             
Hotel/Motel 3.782 -38.4%   -63.8%   -38.4%
Retail 2.853 -36.8%   -14.1%   63.6%
Parking Garage 0.625 -20.4%   -51.1%   79.2%
Amusement 1.619 2.6%   -6.0%   46.8%
Private Office  6.370 -4.5%   -84.5%   -76.8%
Government Office 2.529 22.9%   57.9%   47.1%
Laboratory 0.775 53.4%   -17.5%   33.3%
Warehouse 4.332 4.2%   -37.5%   16.3%
Miscellaneous Commercial* 1.822 -53.1%   -53.7%   54.2%
COMMERCIAL 24.707 -18.4%   -51.9%   -18.8%
             
INDUSTRIAL (Manufacturing) 1.763 -84.5%   -95.8%   -61.6%
             
Religious 0.479 2.6%   62.2%   173.3%
Hospital/Clinic 2.735 -28.6%   -81.3%   -77.4%
Nursing/Assisted Living 1.444 -51.3%   -67.3%   -8.5%
Library/Museum 1.645 138.7%   -50.6%   -75.5%
Police/Courthouse/Prison 1.983 50.6%   25.2%   46.1%
Military 1.735 97.4%   81.8%   153.2%
School/College 14.863 -6.8%   5.3%   62.8%
Miscellaneous Government 1.429 -26.1%   -10.5%   39.0%
INSTITUTIONAL 26.314 -6.1%   -12.4%   24.5%
             
Miscellaneous Nonresidential 1.391 -11.6%   -17.7%   12.6%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 54.175 -24.0%   -45.0%   0.4%
             
Airport 0.874 -42.4%   61.2%   165.8%
Road/Highway 12.332 -1.9%   -1.3%   51.1%
Bridge 7.151 12.5%   78.5%   53.3%
Dam/Marine 2.041 107.8%   169.2%   104.6%
Water/Sewage 7.267 6.2%   58.8%   52.1%
Miscellaneous Civil 5.498 52.5%   -11.6%   78.2%
HEAVY ENGINEERING 35.163 10.3%   24.9%   59.3%
             
TOTAL NONRESIDENTIAL 89.338 -13.4%   -25.8%   21.1%

*Includes transportation terminals and sports arenas.

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

TABLE 2: VALUE OF UNITED STATES CONSTRUCTION STARTS
CONSTRUCTCONNECT INSIGHT VERSION – MARCH 2020
Arranged to match the alphabetical category drop-down menus in INSIGHT

        % Change     % Change % Change
      Jan-Mar 20 Jan-Mar 20 vs     Mar 20 vs Mar 20 vs
      ($ billions) Jan-Mar 19     Mar 19 Feb 20
                 
Summary              
CIVIL     35.163 10.3%     24.9% 59.3%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 54.175 -24.0%     -45.0% 0.4%
RESIDENTIAL   64.699 -2.3%     -9.7% -1.2%
GRAND TOTAL   154.037 -9.1%     -20.0% 10.8%
                 
Verticals              
    Airport 0.874 -42.4%     61.2% 165.8%
    All Other Civil 4.588 67.9%     -26.7% 24.6%
    Bridges 7.151 12.5%     78.5% 53.3%
    Dams / Canals / Marine Work 2.041 107.8%     169.2% 104.6%
    Power Infrastructure 0.910 4.4%     35.1% 535.0%
    Roads 12.332 -1.9%     -1.3% 51.1%
    Water and Sewage Treatment 7.267 6.2%     58.8% 52.1%
CIVIL     35.163 10.3%     24.9% 59.3%
    Offices (private) 6.370 -4.5%     -84.5% -76.8%
    Parking Garages 0.625 -20.4%     -51.1% 79.2%
    Transportation Terminals 0.555 -62.3%     -77.7% 146.6%
  Commercial (small subset) 7.550 -15.4%     -81.3% -66.0%
    Amusement 1.619 2.6%     -6.0% 46.8%
    Libraries / Museums 1.645 138.7%     -50.6% -75.5%
    Religious 0.479 2.6%     62.2% 173.3%
    Sports Arenas / Convention Centers 1.267 -47.5%     -4.3% 30.8%
  Community 5.010 -2.7%     -9.0% -7.6%
    College / University 4.397 -14.2%     -20.7% 23.3%
    Elementary / Pre School 4.027 -1.1%     18.3% 94.9%
    Jr / Sr High School 6.150 -2.3%     25.8% 72.2%
    Special / Vocational 0.290 -36.7%     -58.2% 152.6%
  Educational 14.863 -6.8%     5.3% 62.8%
    Courthouses 0.677 217.9%     218.6% 121.2%
    Fire and Police Stations 0.895 48.3%     21.6% -5.5%
    Government Offices 2.529 22.9%     57.9% 47.1%
    Prisons 0.411 -17.8%     -12.4% 187.2%
  Government 4.512 33.7%     44.3% 46.7%
    Industrial Labs / Labs / School Labs 0.775 53.4%     -17.5% 33.3%
    Manufacturing 1.763 -84.5%     -95.8% -61.6%
    Warehouses 4.332 4.2%     -37.5% 16.3%
  Industrial 6.871 -57.2%     -81.6% -13.1%
    Hospitals / Clinics 2.735 -28.6%     -81.3% -77.4%
    Medical Misc. 1.429 -26.1%     -10.5% 39.0%
    Nursing Homes 1.444 -51.3%     -67.3% -8.5%
  Medical   5.608 -35.8%     -63.4% -43.0%
  Military   1.735 97.4%     81.8% 153.2%
    Hotels 3.782 -38.4%     -63.8% -38.4%
    Retail Misc. 1.391 -11.6%     -17.7% 12.6%
    Shopping 2.853 -36.8%     -14.1% 63.6%
  Retail   8.026 -34.4%     -44.0% -4.5%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 54.175 -24.0%     -45.0% 0.4%
    Multi-Family 15.530 -30.4%     -35.4% 8.9%
    Single-Family 49.169 11.9%     2.6% -3.8%
RESIDENTIAL   64.699 -2.3%     -9.7% -1.2%
NONRESIDENTIAL 89.338 -13.4%     -25.8% 21.1%
GRAND TOTAL   154.037 -9.1%     -20.0% 10.8%

Table 1 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 2 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 3: VALUE OF UNITED STATES NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION STARTS – MARCH 2020 – 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-MAR JAN-MAR
  JAN 20 FEB 20 MAR 20 jan 20 FEB 20 MAR 20 JAN 20 FEB 20 MAR 20 2019 2020
                       
Single Family 15.501 17.164 16.504 15.507 16.143 16.390 16.601 16.970 17.005 43.930 49.169
   month-over-month % change -1.7% 10.7% -3.8% -3.2% 4.1% 1.5% 0.2% 2.2% 0.2%    
   year-over-year % change 2.5% 34.8% 2.6% 13.2% 20.4% 11.9% -1.9% 1.5% 2.4% -6.7% 11.9%
Apartment 5.983 4.570 4.977 7.306 5.987 5.177 7.864 7.604 7.377 22.322 15.530
   month-over-month % change -19.2% -23.6% 8.9% -16.5% -18.0% -13.5% -1.0% -3.3% -3.0%    
   year-over-year % change -13.6% -40.6% -35.4% -3.1% -21.0% -30.4% 1.3% -3.7% -7.2% 5.8% -30.4%
TOTAL RESIDENTIAL 21.484 21.735 21.481 22.813 22.130 21.566 24.465 24.574 24.382 66.252 64.699
   month-over-month % change -7.3% 1.2% -1.2% -7.9% -3.0% -2.5% -0.2% 0.4% -0.8%    
   year-over-year % change -2.5% 6.4% -9.7% 7.5% 5.5% -2.3% -0.9% -0.2% -0.7% -2.8% -2.3%
Hotel/Motel 1.103 1.658 1.021 1.849 1.538 1.261 1.828 1.821 1.671 6.144 3.782
   month-over-month % change -40.4% 50.3% -38.4% -11.6% -16.8% -18.0% -2.1% -0.4% -8.2%    
   year-over-year % change -29.9% -5.3% -63.8% 6.7% -9.1% -38.4% -14.5% -15.6% -25.9% 15.0% -38.4%
Retail 0.945 0.724 1.184 1.002 0.865 0.951 1.325 1.235 1.219 4.514 2.853
   month-over-month % change 2.1% -23.4% 63.6% 0.2% -13.7% 10.0% -2.4% -6.8% -1.3%    
   year-over-year % change -29.0% -59.9% -14.1% -18.5% -38.7% -36.8% -10.7% -19.8% -18.5% -7.3% -36.8%
Parking Garages 0.349 0.099 0.177 0.249 0.189 0.208 0.262 0.262 0.246 0.785 0.625
   month-over-month % change 192.5% -71.7% 79.2% 12.0% -24.2% 10.2% 1.1% -0.2% -5.9%    
   year-over-year % change 10.4% -7.0% -51.1% -30.3% -25.2% -20.4% 6.0% 6.4% -6.4% 57.9% -20.4%
Amusement 0.685 0.379 0.556 0.562 0.544 0.540 0.630 0.628 0.625 1.578 1.619
   month-over-month % change 20.2% -44.7% 46.8% -6.5% -3.1% -0.8% 1.4% -0.4% -0.5%    
   year-over-year % change 18.4% -7.2% -6.0% -18.2% 1.1% 2.6% -8.9% -7.7% -8.1% -20.1% 2.6%
Office 2.662 3.009 0.699 3.200 2.440 2.123 3.103 3.269 2.951 6.668 6.370
   month-over-month % change 61.5% 13.0% -76.8% -7.7% -23.7% -13.0% 4.3% 5.3% -9.7%    
   year-over-year % change 135.6% 193.1% -84.5% 81.0% 49.8% -4.5% 30.3% 55.5% 26.5% -22.2% -4.5%
Governmental Offices 0.712 0.735 1.081 0.847 0.732 0.843 0.954 0.961 0.994 2.057 2.529
   month-over-month % change -4.8% 3.2% 47.1% -8.0% -13.6% 15.2% 0.0% 0.7% 3.4%    
   year-over-year % change -0.4% 11.9% 57.9% -5.7% 8.3% 22.9% 2.7% 5.0% 6.9% 7.0% 22.9%
Laboratories 0.439 0.144 0.192 0.225 0.216 0.258 0.195 0.202 0.198 0.505 0.775
   month-over-month % change 578.4% -67.2% 33.3% 105.0% -3.8% 19.6% 11.3% 3.1% -1.7%    
   year-over-year % change 117.9% 102.6% -17.5% 23.5% 24.8% 53.4% -23.5% -22.1% -20.6% 20.8% 53.4%
Warehouse 2.690 0.759 0.882 2.096 1.829 1.444 1.891 1.844 1.800 4.156 4.332
   month-over-month % change 32.1% -71.8% 16.3% 31.1% -12.8% -21.0% 6.0% -2.5% -2.4%    
   year-over-year % change 90.0% -42.9% -37.5% 47.0% 53.1% 4.2% 5.5% 2.8% 1.1% -8.4% 4.2%
Misc Commercial 0.755 0.419 0.647 1.043 0.681 0.607 1.581 1.564 1.502 3.885 1.822
   month-over-month % change -13.1% -44.5% 54.2% -7.6% -34.7% -10.9% -5.6% -1.0% -4.0%    
   year-over-year % change -59.6% -32.0% -53.7% 2.6% -32.5% -53.1% 45.9% 39.1% 29.4% 73.3% -53.1%
TOTAL COMMERCIAL 10.341 7.926 6.439 11.072 9.033 8.236 11.771 11.784 11.205 30.293 24.707
   month-over-month % change 17.1% -23.4% -18.8% -0.6% -18.4% -8.8% 0.9% 0.1% -4.9%    
   year-over-year % change 13.2% 2.0% -51.9% 19.1% 5.4% -18.4% 7.0% 8.9% 0.5% -0.3% -18.4%
TOTAL INDUSTRIAL  (Manufacturing) 0.937 0.597 0.229 1.312 0.933 0.588 4.244 4.060 3.626 11.400 1.763
   month-over-month % change -26.0% -36.3% -61.6% -26.7% -28.8% -37.0% -4.2% -4.3% -10.7%    
   year-over-year % change -70.4% -78.7% -95.8% -49.8% -70.6% -84.5% 34.7% 25.0% 0.9% 180.6% -84.5%
Religious 0.127 0.094 0.258 0.145 0.118 0.160 0.144 0.143 0.151 0.467 0.479
   month-over-month % change -4.7% -25.6% 173.3% 8.0% -18.6% 35.2% -4.3% -0.6% 5.8%    
   year-over-year % change -37.8% -9.2% 62.2% -30.2% -34.4% 2.6% -23.9% -24.7% -19.2% 12.8% 2.6%
Hosptials/Clinics 1.124 1.314 0.296 1.471 1.129 0.912 1.609 1.658 1.551 3.832 2.735
   month-over-month % change 18.5% 16.9% -77.4% -22.5% -23.2% -19.3% -2.0% 3.1% -6.5%    
   year-over-year % change -26.2% 81.9% -81.3% -9.0% -31.6% -28.6% 19.4% 24.9% 11.7% -5.5% -28.6%
Nursing/Assisted Living 0.731 0.372 0.340 0.649 0.503 0.481 0.770 0.734 0.675 2.967 1.444
   month-over-month % change 80.7% -49.1% -8.5% -8.7% -22.5% -4.3% -4.0% -4.7% -8.0%    
   year-over-year % change -34.5% -54.0% -67.3% -32.3% -48.2% -51.3% -11.4% -16.8% -25.4% 8.9% -51.3%
Libraries/Museums 0.720 0.743 0.182 0.407 0.547 0.548 0.359 0.412 0.397 0.689 1.645
   month-over-month % change 307.7% 3.2% -75.5% 24.2% 34.4% 0.3% 13.2% 14.9% -3.8%    
   year-over-year % change 228.4% 625.5% -50.6% 110.9% 237.3% 138.7% 55.9% 80.4% 61.0% 43.4% 138.7%
Police/Courthouse/Prison 0.956 0.417 0.610 0.685 0.627 0.661 0.616 0.625 0.636 1.317 1.983
   month-over-month % change 89.0% -56.4% 46.1% 11.2% -8.5% 5.5% 6.3% 1.5% 1.6%    
   year-over-year % change 83.6% 35.2% 25.2% 4.5% 22.5% 50.6% -8.9% -7.7% -7.2% 8.9% 50.6%
Military 0.644 0.309 0.783 0.580 0.427 0.578 0.470 0.482 0.511 0.879 1.735
   month-over-month % change 95.5% -52.0% 153.2% -18.1% -26.3% 35.4% 6.9% 2.4% 6.1%    
   year-over-year % change 132.4% 79.8% 81.8% 27.6% 47.1% 97.4% 5.7% 11.6% 15.3% 11.7% 97.4%
Schools/Colleges 4.428 3.970 6.465 4.761 4.504 4.954 6.198 6.166 6.193 15.948 14.863
   month-over-month % change -13.4% -10.3% 62.8% 0.0% -5.4% 10.0% -1.4% -0.5% 0.4%    
   year-over-year % change -18.8% -8.8% 5.3% -2.2% -8.4% -6.8% 2.8% 1.6% 2.3% 7.6% -6.8%
Misc Government 0.483 0.396 0.550 0.562 0.559 0.476 0.720 0.729 0.724 1.933 1.429
   month-over-month % change -39.5% -18.0% 39.0% -18.4% -0.4% -14.8% -6.0% 1.3% -0.7%    
   year-over-year % change -53.4% 40.6% -10.5% -34.4% -17.1% -26.1% -23.1% -21.3% -20.8% -13.0% -26.1%
TOTAL INSTITUTIONAL 9.213 7.617 9.484 9.258 8.414 8.771 10.885 10.949 10.837 28.031 26.314
   month-over-month % change 9.5% -17.3% 24.5% -5.9% -9.1% 4.2% -0.9% 0.6% -1.0%    
   year-over-year % change -11.0% 11.1% -12.4% -5.6% -10.1% -6.1% 1.5% 2.0% 0.1% 4.9% -6.1%
Misc Non Residential 0.533 0.404 0.455 0.589 0.451 0.464 0.632 0.616 0.608 1.574 1.391
   month-over-month % change 28.0% -24.3% 12.6% -22.4% -23.5% 2.8% 1.3% -2.4% -1.3%    
   year-over-year % change 23.2% -31.4% -17.7% 29.8% -4.3% -11.6% 7.9% 3.2% 2.6% -5.6% -11.6%
TOTAL NONRES BUILDING 21.025 16.543 16.607 22.231 18.832 18.058 27.532 27.409 26.276 71.298 54.175
   month-over-month % change 11.1% -21.3% 0.4% -5.5% -15.3% -4.1% -0.6% -0.4% -4.1%    
   year-over-year % change -8.9% -8.2% -45.0% 0.2% -12.7% -24.0% 8.1% 7.9% 0.5% 13.5% -24.0%
Airports 0.174 0.191 0.509 0.320 0.270 0.291 0.580 0.538 0.554 1.517 0.874
   month-over-month % change -61.0% 10.2% 165.8% -42.0% -15.5% 7.9% -4.5% -7.3% 3.0%    
   year-over-year % change -65.4% -72.7% 61.2% -22.7% -48.0% -42.4% 2.5% -9.6% 0.9% -31.2% -42.4%
Roads/Highways 3.729 3.426 5.177 4.018 3.835 4.111 5.440 5.422 5.417 12.575 12.332
   month-over-month % change -14.3% -8.1% 51.1% -9.0% -4.6% 7.2% 0.0% -0.3% -0.1%    
   year-over-year % change 0.8% -5.7% -1.3% 6.8% 6.8% -1.9% 3.3% 2.0% 4.6% -8.1% -1.9%
Bridges 2.258 1.932 2.961 1.872 1.876 2.384 2.504 2.458 2.567 6.355 7.151
   month-over-month % change 57.1% -14.5% 53.3% -0.8% 0.2% 27.1% 0.1% -1.8% 4.4%    
   year-over-year % change 1.7% -22.0% 78.5% -1.4% -13.0% 12.5% 23.6% 18.2% 28.7% -1.5% 12.5%
Dams/Marine 0.954 0.357 0.730 0.802 0.562 0.680 0.759 0.761 0.800 0.983 2.041
   month-over-month % change 155.2% -62.6% 104.6% -2.9% -30.0% 21.1% 6.8% 0.3% 5.0%    
   year-over-year % change 152.5% 7.1% 169.2% 65.7% 40.4% 107.8% 35.8% 36.1% 43.9% 2.2% 107.8%
Water/Sewage 2.008 2.086 3.173 2.464 2.362 2.422 2.546 2.544 2.642 6.841 7.267
   month-over-month % change -32.9% 3.9% 52.1% -6.2% -4.2% 2.6% -2.3% -0.1% 3.8%    
   year-over-year % change -26.5% -1.1% 58.8% 6.3% 2.4% 6.2% 3.5% 2.3% 6.9% 0.3% 6.2%
Misc Civil 2.857 0.949 1.691 3.908 3.547 1.833 4.015 4.015 3.997 3.604 5.498
   month-over-month % change -58.2% -66.8% 78.2% -18.9% -9.2% -48.3% 4.6% 0.0% -0.5%    
   year-over-year % change 284.9% 0.0% -11.6% 133.1% 314.9% 52.5% 57.2% 56.0% 93.1% -66.9% 52.5%
TOTAL ENGINEERING 11.980 8.941 14.241 13.384 12.452 11.721 15.844 15.739 15.975 31.876 35.163
   month-over-month % change -27.1% -25.4% 59.3% -11.5% -7.0% -5.9% 0.9% -0.7% 1.5%    
   year-over-year % change 16.6% -12.4% 24.9% 26.8% 26.7% 10.3% 18.0% 15.7% 24.6% -22.3% 10.3%
GRAND TOTAL 54.489 47.219 52.329 58.428 53.414 51.346 67.841 67.721 66.633 169.426 154.037
   month-over-month % change -6.9% -13.3% 10.8% -7.9% -8.6% -3.9% -0.1% -0.2% -1.6%    
   year-over-year % change -1.6% -2.9% -20.0% 8.3% 2.0% -9.1% 6.7% 6.5% 4.9% -1.5% -9.1%
NONRES BLDG + ENGINEERING 33.005 25.484 30.849 35.616 31.283 29.779 43.376 43.147 42.252 103.174 89.338
   month-over-month % change -6.7% -22.8% 21.1% -7.9% -12.2% -4.8% -0.1% -0.5% -2.1%    
   year-over-year % change -1.0% -9.7% -25.8% 8.8% -0.4% -13.4% 11.5% 10.6% 8.4% -0.6% -13.4%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

TABLE 4: U.S. YEAR-TO-DATE REGIONAL STARTS
NONRESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION* — CONSTRUCTCONNECT

  JAN-MAR 2019   JAN-MAR 2020   % Change
           
Connecticut $1,444,123,235   $601,338,613   -58.4%
Maine $332,952,377   $332,859,323   0.0%
Massachusetts $2,086,181,067   $1,660,354,733   -20.4%
New Hampshire $374,090,847   $136,163,641   -63.6%
Rhode Island $190,384,616   $203,849,795   7.1%
Vermont $42,766,453   $82,350,696   92.6%
Total New England $4,470,498,595   $3,016,916,801   -32.5%
New Jersey $1,353,545,689   $1,889,039,018   39.6%
New York $5,031,438,853   $4,711,149,274   -6.4%
Pennsylvania $3,541,414,001   $2,604,792,755   -26.4%
Total Middle Atlantic $9,926,398,543   $9,204,981,047   -7.3%
TOTAL NORTHEAST $14,396,897,138   $12,221,897,848   -15.1%
Illinois $2,937,767,951   $2,500,107,328   -14.9%
Indiana $1,506,636,498   $1,856,326,814   23.2%
Michigan $1,486,244,414   $1,452,990,656   -2.2%
Ohio $2,193,811,785   $2,224,756,326   1.4%
Wisconsin $2,301,384,595   $1,725,340,230   -25.0%
Total East North Central $10,425,845,243   $9,759,521,354   -6.4%
Iowa $878,790,140   $1,090,690,573   24.1%
Kansas $1,090,702,910   $690,631,954   -36.7%
Minnesota $1,140,883,287   $1,499,673,550   31.4%
Missouri $1,737,611,095   $2,394,238,605   37.8%
Nebraska $1,008,546,636   $1,562,630,197   54.9%
North Dakota $149,841,981   $232,309,747   55.0%
South Dakota $345,099,519   $287,918,928   -16.6%
Total West North Central $6,351,475,568   $7,758,093,554   22.1%
TOTAL MIDWEST $16,777,320,811   $17,517,614,908   4.4%
Delaware $164,729,734   $351,885,260   113.6%
District of Columbia $502,686,226   $175,197,319   -65.1%
Florida $7,391,616,911   $5,861,667,494   -20.7%
Georgia $5,159,424,235   $2,749,184,694   -46.7%
Maryland $1,880,092,766   $1,911,717,669   1.7%
North Carolina $3,221,586,785   $2,356,262,797   -26.9%
South Carolina $1,541,857,299   $1,295,715,647   -16.0%
Virginia $2,301,953,320   $3,221,848,407   40.0%
West Virginia $426,040,337   $384,849,531   -9.7%
Total South Atlantic $22,589,987,613   $18,308,328,818   -19.0%
Alabama $4,278,132,242   $1,288,719,586   -69.9%
Kentucky $859,192,387   $630,753,406   -26.6%
Mississippi $722,569,262   $926,563,770   28.2%
Tennessee $2,284,344,277   $2,215,822,343   -3.0%
Total East South Central $8,144,238,168   $5,061,859,105   -37.8%
Arkansas $538,758,167   $1,395,875,175   159.1%
Louisiana $1,189,692,944   $1,340,301,341   12.7%
Oklahoma $1,752,951,268   $1,009,676,846   -42.4%
Texas $14,886,442,421   $9,280,653,546   -37.7%
Total West South Central $18,367,844,800   $13,026,506,908   -29.1%
TOTAL SOUTH $49,102,070,581   $36,396,694,831   -25.9%
Arizona $2,150,574,481   $2,682,413,259   24.7%
Colorado $2,990,327,855   $1,876,059,913   -37.3%
Idaho $457,187,489   $376,521,545   -17.6%
Montana $237,366,996   $371,299,229   56.4%
Nevada $2,183,072,287   $858,621,252   -60.7%
New Mexico $343,120,743   $340,925,729   -0.6%
Utah $1,113,967,234   $2,123,430,530   90.6%
Wyoming $135,464,259   $269,610,377   99.0%
Total Mountain $9,611,081,344   $8,898,881,834   -7.4%
Alaska $262,643,140   $230,382,644   -12.3%
California $9,748,835,731   $10,506,133,597   7.8%
Hawaii $733,625,468   $281,494,921   -61.6%
Oregon $1,120,564,352   $755,057,973   -32.6%
Washington $1,420,748,549   $2,529,639,729   78.0%
Total Pacific $13,286,417,240   $14,302,708,864   7.6%
TOTAL WEST $22,897,498,584   $23,201,590,698   1.3%
TOTAL U.S. $103,173,787,114   $89,337,798,285   -13.4%

*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.

     
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