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By: Alex Carrick on October 13th, 2020

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September Nonresidential Construction Starts One Quarter Lower Both M/M & YTD

Economic News | Industry Snapshot

September 2020 Was Just Plain Weak

ConstructConnect announced today that the latest month’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $24.3 billion (green shaded box, Table 4 below), a drop of one quarter (-24.8%) versus August's figure of $32.4 billion.

August Nonresidential Construction Starts Flat M/M; Down by a Quarter Ytd Graphic

In the latest month, the year-to-date volume of nonresidential starts was also off by about one quarter, -27.4% versus January-to-September of last year.

 
View this information as an infographic
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Click here to download the complete Construction Industry Snapshot Package - September 2020 PDF.

Reinforcing the story of softness in nonresidential construction starts in this year’s September was the contraction of -40.1% compared with September 2019’s figure.

Often the monthly year-over-year comparisons as we’ve proceeded through 2020 have suffered from a relative lack of mega projects (of $1 billion or more each) versus the wealth of such work that came to the fore last year.

But September of 2019 was not one of those months. It did not feature an outsized array of ultra-large groundbreakings. There’s no sugar coating the fact that September 2020’s record of nonresidential starts was just plain weak.

What Happens After Backlogs Get Depleted?

From Graph 1, construction continues to be among the sectors with the smallest year-over-year declines in employment. At -3.7%, construction is in third spot, tied with government, although it should be noted that, in September, the number of jobs in U.S. construction rose by +26,000 while in the public sector, they fell by -216,000.

The construction jobs increase was predominantly in residential work. The government jobs decrease was mainly in the educational field, at the local level. Also, there was a federal payroll cutback related to the winding down of the 2020 Census.

Graph 1: Y/Y Jobs Change, U.S. Total Industry & Major Subsectors − September 2020 (based on seasonally adjusted payroll data)

Y/Y Jobs Change, U.S. Total Industry & Major Subsectors − September 2020 (based on seasonally adjusted  payroll data) Chart
Data source: Payroll Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Dept of Labor).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

The results in Table 1 are concerning, though. The proportion of the February-to-April U.S. total jobs decline that has been recovered since Spring remains below half (47.7%). Construction’s ‘claw-back’ ratio presently sits at 59.6%.

The month-to-month total U.S. jobs increase has decelerated for the past four periods, easing from +4.8 million in June to +661,000 in September. Currently, some states that were speeding ahead with economy re-openings are finding they must backtrack to stiffer ‘social gathering’ measures, as coronavirus counts shoot upwards again. Unfortunately, predictions that lower infections in the summer would be only a temporary lull are proving true.

For construction, the worry is that jobs in nonresidential work are being sustained by projects initiated last year. The potential for grief will become more exaggerated once contractors have worked through their backlogs.

Table 1: Monitoring the U.S. employment recovery ‒ September 2020

Monitoring the U.S. employment recovery ‒ September 2020 Chart
Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 2 highlights a unique feature of the ‘COVID-19 Collapse’. On a year-over-year jobs-count basis, it’s been the ‘private services-providing’ portion of the economy that has been slammed hardest by the devastation. The services jobs drop this time around (with ‘leisure & hospitality’ bearing the harshest blows) has been much worse than in the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis. Some readers will be surprised to see, however, that neither construction nor manufacturing experienced year-over-year jobs declines this year that were quite as severe as in the GFC.  

Graph 2: U.S. Employment - % Change Y/Y
Based on seasonally adjusted (SA) data
U.S. Employment - % Change Y/Y Based on seasonally adjusted (SA) data Chart
The latest data points are for September, 2020.
Data source: Payroll Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. Department of Labor).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Major Type-Of-Structure Subcategories ‘Taking it on the Chin’

The -24.8% decline month-over-month (m/m) in September nonresidential starts resulted from drops in engineering (-22.9%), commercial (-22.2%) and institutional (-20.7%) that were closely aligned, at minus one-fifth each, while industrial (-53.2%) pushed harder downwards.

The -40.1% nonresidential construction starts retreat in September 2020 versus September 2019 (y/y) came from big setbacks in commercial (-52.5%), engineering (-38.2%), and institutional (-36.2%) that overwhelmed the pickup in industrial (+52.1%).

Steering year-to-date (ytd) total nonresidential starts lower (-27.4%) have been industrial (-71.5%), commercial (-33.6%), and to lesser degrees, engineering (-15.9%) and institutional (-16.6%). There have been no ytd increases among the four major type-of-structure subcategories.  

Two Subcategories Account for One-Third of Nonresidential Stars

A little more than one-third (34.4%) of total nonresidential starts year to date in 2020 have originated in just two type-of-structure subcategories, ‘school/college’ (17.6%) and ‘road/highway’ (16.7%). The three metrics for educational facility starts in September were -29.6% m/m, -22.4% y/y, and -14.9% ytd. (K-12 starts ytd have been -16.0% and ‘college/university’ groundbreakings, -12.3% ytd).

For street starts, the percentage changes in September were -26.5% m/m and -24.0% y/y, but a not so bad -4.6% ytd. Within engineering as well, the one subcategory that has turned in a solid performance through the first three quarters of this year has been ‘water/sewage’: +16.2% m/m; +20.0% y/y; and +5.5% ytd.  

Within institutional, the strength in ‘military’ starts stands out: +74.4% m/m; +25.7% y/y; and +106.4% ytd. ‘Fire/police/courthouse/prison’ starts have also increased ytd, +4.9%, with ‘prison’ work best at +11.4% ytd.

Among commercial subcategories, the year-to-date percentage changes have all been declines. ‘Warehouse’ and ‘government office building’ starts have managed the smallest ytd retreats, -1.9% and -2.7% respectively. The sizable decline in ‘private office building’ starts (-36.8% ytd) has shifted that subcategory into a tie with ‘warehouses’ for largest share (23% each) of commercial work.

Trend Graphs Not Pretty, but Consistent

They may not be pretty, but the 12-month moving average trend graphs (see Nonresidential Construction Starts Trend Graphs - September 2020) are consistent. With the single exception of ‘water/sewage’, the curves are now moving downwards. ‘Nonresidential building’ and its subcategories (especially ‘retail’ and ‘private office buildings’) are floundering worse than engineering. As a sidebar, ‘institutional’ and ‘commercial’ have been closing tracking one another since the beginning of 2014. In engineering starts, ‘miscellaneous civil’ has been taking a nosedive since May, due to this year’s lack of mega project initiations.

On Earnings Front, Construction Workers ‘Left in the Dust’

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 non-farm 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 September were +4.7% hourly and +5.6% weekly. Construction workers, at +3.1% hourly and a barely positive +0.8% weekly, failed to keep up. From Table B-8 (excluding bosses), the ‘all jobs’ pay increases were +4.6% hourly and +6.2% weekly. Again, workers in construction were ‘left in the dust,’ +1.5% hourly and a slightly negative -0.5% weekly.   

Price of Softwood Lumber Setting a Torrid Pace

Among construction materials, softwood lumber is setting a torrid pace of price increase. August’s Producer Price Index (PPI) for softwood lumber was +45.0% year over year, after climbing +16.0% month to month. Copper wire and cable is another material on the upswing, +3.6% y/y, thanks to +4.5% in August. Gypsum products (+0.5% y/y), cement (+1.4% y/y), and ready-mix concrete (+0.9% y/y) have been recording quieter advances. On the downside are steel structural shapes, -8.0% y/y, and aluminum sheet and strip, -16.6% y/y (but +1.2% m/m).  

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 -19.9% YTD

From Table 4 below, ConstructConnect’s total residential starts in September 2020 were -11.4% m/m, -15.9% y/y and -6.0% ytd. The latest month’s multi-unit starts were -29.3% m/m, -61.8% y/y and -24.9% ytd. Single-family starts were -6.8% m/m, +9.7% y/y, and +2.8% ytd. Combining residential and nonresidential, ‘Grand Total’ construction starts in the ninth month of this year were -18.8% m/m, -30.4% y/y, and -19.9% 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 - September 2020 PDF.

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

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

TABLE 2: VALUE OF UNITED STATES NONRESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION STARTS
SEPTEMBER 2020 – CONSTRUCTCONNECT

    % Change   % Change   % Change
  Jan-SEP 20 Jan-SEP 20 vs    SEP 20 vs   SEP 20 vs
  ($ billions) Jan-SEP 19   SEP 19   AUG 20
             
Hotel/Motel 8.165 -50.3%   -77.5%   -35.1%
Retail 9.322 -30.5%   -37.9%   -24.1%
Parking Garage 1.435 -42.4%   49.0%   -6.6%
Amusement 4.458 -21.5%   -28.8%   23.4%
Private Office  16.245 -36.8%   -65.1%   -49.4%
Government Office 8.561 -2.7%   90.7%   89.9%
Laboratory 1.465 -19.9%   -87.1%   -68.2%
Warehouse 16.598 -1.9%   -42.8%   -46.2%
Miscellaneous Commercial* 5.697 -66.6%   -83.0%   -21.8%
COMMERCIAL (big subset) 71.945 -33.6%   -52.5%   -22.2%
             
INDUSTRIAL (Manufacturing) 13.783 -71.5%   52.1%   -53.2%
             
Religious 1.119 -23.3%   -30.0%   -23.4%
Hospital/Clinic 7.932 -45.7%   -66.7%   -1.1%
Nursing/Assisted Living 4.654 -38.0%   -63.6%   -44.1%
Library/Museum 3.186 7.1%   -69.4%   -30.3%
Police/Courthouse/Prison 5.335 4.9%   -45.1%   -27.0%
Military 6.547 106.4%   25.7%   74.4%
School/College 52.259 -14.9%   -22.4%   -29.6%
Miscellaneous Medical 5.187 -27.4%   -44.6%   -6.3%
INSTITUTIONAL 86.218 -16.6%   -36.2%   -20.7%
             
Miscellaneous Nonresidential 4.040 -23.3%   -25.0%   -5.3%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 175.986 -33.7%   -41.2%   -25.9%
             
Airport 4.903 -13.1%   19.3%   -7.5%
Road/Highway 49.592 -4.6%   -24.0%   -26.5%
Bridge 17.870 -26.6%   -65.8%   -17.9%
Dam/Marine 5.822 -3.9%   -24.0%   -50.5%
Water/Sewage 24.741 5.5%   20.0%   16.2%
Miscellaneous Civil (power, pipelines, etc.) 17.533 -44.7%   -83.7%   -65.4%
HEAVY ENGINEERING (Civil) 120.462 -15.9%   -38.2%   -22.9%
             
TOTAL NONRESIDENTIAL 296.447 -27.4%   -40.1%   -24.8%

*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 – SEPTEMBER 2020
Arranged to match the alphabetical category drop-down menus in INSIGHT

        % Change     % Change % Change
      Jan-Sep 20 Jan-Sep 20 vs     Sep 20 vs Sep 20 vs
      ($ billions) Jan-Sep 19     Sep 19 Aug 20
                 
Summary              
CIVIL     120.462 -15.9%     -38.2% -22.9%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 175.986 -33.7%     -41.2% -25.9%
RESIDENTIAL   207.305 -6.0%     -15.9% -11.4%
GRAND TOTAL   503.753 -19.9%     -30.4% -18.8%
                 
Verticals              
    Airport 4.903 -13.1%     19.3% -7.5%
    All Other Civil 14.767 -25.2%     -64.5% -64.6%
    Bridges 17.870 -26.6%     -65.8% -17.9%
    Dams / Canals / Marine Work 5.822 -3.9%     -24.0% -50.5%
    Power Infrastructure 2.766 -76.8%     -98.1% -73.9%
    Roads 49.592 -4.6%     -24.0% -26.5%
    Water and Sewage Treatment 24.741 5.5%     20.0% 16.2%
CIVIL     120.462 -15.9%     -38.2% -22.9%
    Offices (private) 16.245 -36.8%     -65.1% -49.4%
    Parking Garages 1.435 -42.4%     49.0% -6.6%
    Transportation Terminals 1.947 -78.2%     103.0% 207.6%
  Commercial (small subset) 19.626 -47.1%     -51.6% -32.1%
    Amusement 4.458 -21.5%     -28.8% 23.4%
    Libraries / Museums 3.186 7.1%     -69.4% -30.3%
    Religious 1.119 -23.3%     -30.0% -23.4%
    Sports Arenas / Convention Centers 3.750 -53.9%     -97.1% -84.0%
  Community 12.513 -31.4%     -82.3% -39.6%
    College / University 12.891 -12.3%     8.2% 24.6%
    Elementary / Pre School 16.365 -8.3%     -24.7% -50.2%
    Jr / Sr High School 21.486 -21.0%     -41.7% -44.9%
    Special / Vocational 1.517 -7.7%     -10.4% 11.4%
  Educational 52.259 -14.9%     -22.4% -29.6%
    Courthouses 1.334 4.3%     -77.5% -40.6%
    Fire and Police Stations 2.373 1.2%     -11.2% -22.2%
    Government Offices 8.561 -2.7%     90.7% 89.9%
    Prisons 1.628 11.4%     -22.1% -23.4%
  Government 13.896 0.1%     20.2% 37.7%
    Industrial Labs / Labs / School Labs 1.465 -19.9%     -87.1% -68.2%
    Manufacturing 13.783 -71.5%     52.1% -53.2%
    Warehouses 16.598 -1.9%     -42.8% -46.2%
  Industrial 31.845 -52.6%     -17.9% -51.0%
    Hospitals / Clinics 7.932 -45.7%     -66.7% -1.1%
    Medical Misc. 5.187 -27.4%     -44.6% -6.3%
    Nursing Homes 4.654 -38.0%     -63.6% -44.1%
  Medical   17.772 -39.3%     -61.1% -20.4%
  Military   6.547 106.4%     25.7% 74.4%
    Hotels 8.165 -50.3%     -77.5% -35.1%
    Retail Misc. 4.040 -23.3%     -25.0% -5.3%
    Shopping 9.322 -30.5%     -37.9% -24.1%
  Retail   21.527 -38.7%     -54.8% -23.2%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 175.986 -33.7%     -41.2% -25.9%
    Multi-Family 52.406 -24.9%     -61.8% -29.3%
    Single-Family 154.899 2.8%     9.7% -6.8%
RESIDENTIAL   207.305 -6.0%     -15.9% -11.4%
NONRESIDENTIAL 296.447 -27.4%     -40.1% -24.8%
GRAND TOTAL   503.753 -19.9%     -30.4% -18.8%

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 – SEPTEMBER 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-SEP JAN-SEP
  JUL 20 AUG 20 SEP 20 JUL 20 AUG 20 SEP 20 JUL 20 AUG 20 SEP 20 2019 2020
                       
Single Family 18.181 19.215 19.001 17.820 19.691 19.825 16.551 16.771 16.911 150.746 154.899
   month-over-month % change 23.0% 5.7% -6.8% 12.9% 10.5% 0.7% 0.9% 1.3% 0.8%    
   year-over-year % change 0.3% 4.8% 9.7% -0.2% 9.0% 11.4% 2.5% 4.0% 4.6% -5.3% 2.8%
Apartment 6.123 5.636 3.685 6.121 5.923 5.003 7.651 7.289 6.791 69.774 52.406
   month-over-month % change 11.6% -8.0% -29.3% 6.6% -3.2% -15.5% -0.4% -4.7% -6.8%    
   year-over-year % change -23.4% -13.5% -61.8% -8.8% -26.2% -41.7% 0.4% -5.7% -13.8% 0.5% -24.9%
TOTAL RESIDENTIAL 24.305 24.851 22.686 23.942 25.614 24.827 24.202 24.059 23.702 220.520 207.305
   month-over-month % change 19.9% 2.2% -11.4% 11.2% 7.0% -3.1% 0.5% -0.6% -1.5%    
   year-over-year % change -6.9% 0.0% -15.9% -2.6% -1.8% -5.9% 1.9% 0.9% -1.4% -3.6% -6.0%
Hotel/Motel 0.492 0.764 0.407 0.549 0.621 0.599 1.452 1.385 1.268 16.421 8.165
   month-over-month % change 17.1% 55.3% -35.1% -9.9% 13.2% -3.6% -4.2% -4.7% -8.4%    
   year-over-year % change -73.8% -50.2% -77.5% -67.7% -61.5% -62.4% -23.8% -26.8% -31.6% -19.5% -50.3%
Retail 0.958 0.886 0.854 0.967 1.024 0.979 1.099 1.080 1.036 13.418 9.322
   month-over-month % change 1.3% -7.5% -24.1% -6.5% 5.9% -4.5% -1.8% -1.8% -4.0%    
   year-over-year % change -46.2% -26.1% -37.9% -37.5% -29.2% -25.4% -24.1% -24.7% -26.7% -9.1% -30.5%
Parking Garages 0.164 0.106 0.141 0.167 0.143 0.133 0.178 0.171 0.175 2.491 1.435
   month-over-month % change -25.7% -35.5% -6.6% 6.4% -14.6% -7.0% -10.5% -3.5% 2.3%    
   year-over-year % change -51.3% -70.1% 49.0% -53.1% -53.4% -41.1% -37.3% -40.5% -38.9% 29.8% -42.4%
Amusement 0.506 0.323 0.383 0.414 0.399 0.340 0.558 0.543 0.530 5.680 4.458
   month-over-month % change 42.4% -36.1% 23.4% -21.8% -3.8% -14.9% -11.8% -2.7% -2.4%    
   year-over-year % change -31.1% -73.5% -28.8% -49.5% -51.2% -54.8% -20.8% -23.5% -23.9% -3.2% -21.5%
Office 1.544 1.112 1.130 1.244 1.674 1.512 2.450 2.424 2.249 25.710 16.245
   month-over-month % change 73.5% -27.9% -49.4% -14.3% 34.5% -9.7% -7.1% -1.1% -7.2%    
   year-over-year % change -66.8% -67.4% -65.1% -62.7% -52.7% -50.7% -2.7% -6.2% -17.2% 11.8% -36.8%
Governmental Offices 0.857 0.935 1.770 0.858 0.908 1.211 0.908 0.887 0.957 8.799 8.561
   month-over-month % change 10.0% 9.1% 89.9% 1.5% 5.9% 33.3% -6.8% -2.3% 7.9%    
   year-over-year % change -19.8% -45.8% 90.7% -30.3% -31.4% -5.2% -8.7% -11.1% -1.6% 8.1% -2.7%
Laboratories 0.231 0.163 0.042 0.156 0.175 0.112 0.217 0.195 0.171 1.828 1.465
   month-over-month % change 204.6% -29.5% -68.2% 25.3% 12.0% -35.8% 2.5% -10.3% -12.1%    
   year-over-year % change 121.9% 61.5% -87.1% 15.4% -13.2% -59.2% 20.7% -0.8% -14.3% -21.9% -19.9%
Warehouse 2.117 1.129 0.990 1.869 1.826 1.439 1.981 1.916 1.854 16.916 16.598
   month-over-month % change 7.7% -46.7% -46.2% -14.7% -2.3% -21.2% -0.2% -3.3% -3.2%    
   year-over-year % change -4.8% -26.5% -42.8% 4.7% -14.2% -26.7% 10.4% 3.7% 1.6% 1.0% -1.9%
Misc Commercial 0.653 0.955 0.533 0.674 0.763 0.722 1.012 0.986 0.769 17.044 5.697
   month-over-month % change 57.7% 46.3% -21.8% 34.3% 13.2% -5.4% -13.1% -2.6% -21.9%    
   year-over-year % change 27.7% -65.6% -83.0% -75.5% -46.5% -68.6% -22.0% -26.9% -50.9% 61.8% -66.6%
TOTAL COMMERCIAL 7.522 6.374 6.249 6.899 7.532 7.045 9.856 9.586 9.010 108.307 71.945
   month-over-month % change 24.0% -15.3% -22.2% -7.3% 9.2% -6.5% -5.6% -2.7% -6.0%    
   year-over-year % change -43.4% -54.0% -52.5% -49.5% -41.2% -44.8% -11.4% -15.2% -21.9% 4.4% -33.6%
TOTAL INDUSTRIAL  (Manufacturing) 0.535 1.048 1.421 1.239 1.540 1.813 2.487 1.706 1.746 48.401 13.783
   month-over-month % change -75.2% 95.6% -53.2% 6.9% 24.2% 17.8% -19.2% -31.4% 2.4%    
   year-over-year % change -45.2% -87.0% 52.1% -82.8% -78.5% -74.6% -40.0% -64.4% -62.7% 72.6% -71.5%
Religious 0.096 0.091 0.100 0.099 0.101 0.108 0.135 0.132 0.129 1.460 1.119
   month-over-month % change -22.0% -4.8% -23.4% 8.5% 2.7% 6.5% -2.9% -1.8% -2.7%    
   year-over-year % change -54.1% -35.4% -30.0% -45.6% -40.3% -27.0% -21.3% -22.2% -23.4% -10.4% -23.3%
Hosptials/Clinics 0.942 0.532 0.535 0.920 0.718 0.536 1.434 1.285 1.195 14.621 7.932
   month-over-month % change -17.1% -43.5% -1.1% -7.3% -22.0% -25.4% -12.4% -10.4% -7.0%    
   year-over-year % change -51.3% -82.1% -66.7% -54.2% -70.2% -76.7% -2.7% -16.6% -25.2% 18.7% -45.7%
Nursing/Assisted Living 0.388 0.310 0.384 0.407 0.473 0.459 0.593 0.618 0.562 7.508 4.654
   month-over-month % change -21.4% -19.9% -44.1% -20.0% 16.2% -3.0% -5.0% 4.1% -9.0%    
   year-over-year % change -37.1% -54.3% -63.6% -45.4% -15.8% -35.2% -30.1% -26.2% -34.8% -3.4% -38.0%
Libraries/Museums 0.296 0.223 0.155 0.288 0.246 0.199 0.377 0.386 0.357 2.976 3.186
   month-over-month % change -14.8% -24.8% -30.3% -4.6% -14.6% -19.0% -5.2% 2.4% -7.6%    
   year-over-year % change -16.4% -52.6% -69.4% -35.7% -21.3% -45.2% 27.2% 32.7% 14.9% 49.1% 7.1%
Police/Courthouse/Prison 0.540 0.547 0.550 0.506 0.620 0.624 0.625 0.637 0.599 5.086 5.335
   month-over-month % change 20.4% 1.4% -27.0% 5.8% 22.4% 0.7% 2.0% 1.9% -5.9%    
   year-over-year % change -11.8% 30.4% -45.1% -5.9% 13.2% -7.9% 3.9% 10.0% -4.8% -9.9% 4.9%
Military 0.536 0.608 0.931 0.530 0.550 0.686 0.677 0.694 0.710 3.172 6.547
   month-over-month % change 10.0% 13.4% 74.4% -46.1% 3.6% 24.9% 3.0% 2.5% 2.3%    
   year-over-year % change 49.5% 70.1% 25.7% 60.0% 57.6% 44.1% 63.1% 72.1% 67.5% -4.2% 106.4%
Schools/Colleges 9.329 5.502 3.527 7.330 6.620 4.690 5.710 5.641 5.556 61.392 52.259
   month-over-month % change 32.0% -41.0% -29.6% -1.8% -9.7% -29.1% -1.8% -1.2% -1.5%    
   year-over-year % change -18.8% -19.3% -22.4% -18.3% -17.7% -18.2% -9.8% -10.3% -11.2% 6.1% -14.9%
Misc Government 0.413 0.305 0.390 0.528 0.409 0.407 0.675 0.641 0.615 7.147 5.187
   month-over-month % change -46.7% -26.3% -6.3% -10.2% -22.7% -0.5% -2.5% -5.0% -4.1%    
   year-over-year % change -61.2% -50.7% -44.6% -42.2% -51.1% -43.1% -19.0% -23.7% -22.4% -19.5% -27.4%
TOTAL INSTITUTIONAL 12.540 8.119 6.573 10.610 9.736 7.710 10.227 10.035 9.723 103.361 86.218
   month-over-month % change 15.3% -35.3% -20.7% -7.0% -8.2% -20.8% -3.3% -1.9% -3.1%    
   year-over-year % change -24.6% -34.9% -36.2% -24.9% -26.4% -30.7% -6.8% -8.4% -11.9% 4.0% -16.6%
Misc Non Residential 0.485 0.366 0.447 0.411 0.442 0.429 0.559 0.548 0.536 5.270 4.040
   month-over-month % change 28.6% -24.5% -5.3% -4.4% 7.4% -3.0% -3.4% -2.0% -2.3%    
   year-over-year % change -21.2% -39.1% -25.0% -31.9% -27.3% -28.7% -1.0% -4.2% -6.7% -5.6% -23.3%
TOTAL NONRES BUILDING 21.082 15.906 14.689 19.159 19.250 16.997 23.129 21.875 21.016 265.338 175.986
   month-over-month % change 8.2% -24.6% -25.9% -6.3% 0.5% -11.7% -6.3% -5.4% -3.9%    
   year-over-year % change -33.1% -54.6% -41.2% -46.2% -43.0% -46.3% -13.7% -20.8% -24.5% 12.1% -33.7%
Airports 0.882 0.810 0.707 0.737 0.811 0.753 0.538 0.545 0.554 5.645 4.903
   month-over-month % change 64.9% -8.2% -7.5% 27.7% 10.0% -7.1% -3.8% 1.3% 1.7%    
   year-over-year % change 49.3% -22.3% 19.3% -4.3% 5.0% -2.5% -12.1% -11.8% -10.7% 3.3% -13.1%
Roads/Highways 7.137 5.959 3.734 6.649 6.064 4.927 5.374 5.340 5.242 52.009 49.592
   month-over-month % change 5.1% -16.5% -26.5% -7.8% -8.8% -18.8% -2.9% -0.6% -1.8%    
   year-over-year % change 6.7% -24.3% -24.0% -9.0% -9.3% -19.1% 0.2% 1.1% -1.4% 1.1% -4.6%
Bridges 2.716 2.158 0.951 2.289 2.007 1.419 2.203 2.128 1.976 24.342 17.870
   month-over-month % change 35.4% -20.5% -17.9% 5.5% -12.3% -29.3% 0.6% -3.4% -7.1%    
   year-over-year % change 18.9% 7.9% -65.8% 4.9% -5.0% -37.7% -8.7% -13.8% -20.3% 30.9% -26.6%
Dams/Marine 0.663 0.825 0.412 0.656 0.641 0.557 0.671 0.703 0.693 6.058 5.822
   month-over-month % change -24.4% 24.5% -50.5% -13.1% -2.3% -13.1% -1.6% 4.8% -1.5%    
   year-over-year % change -40.0% 49.0% -24.0% -47.1% -8.6% 8.2% -6.3% 0.3% 1.3% 34.7% -3.9%
Water/Sewage 3.428 2.835 3.178 2.866 3.016 2.931 2.645 2.699 2.743 23.454 24.741
   month-over-month % change 49.7% -17.3% 16.2% -0.5% 5.2% -2.8% -0.5% 2.0% 1.6%    
   year-over-year % change 33.6% -6.8% 20.0% 1.0% 17.5% 13.0% 8.0% 10.2% 9.2% 2.1% 5.5%
Misc Civil 1.796 2.515 0.676 2.729 2.115 1.721 3.602 2.959 2.669 31.694 17.533
   month-over-month % change -52.8% 40.1% -65.4% 18.5% -22.5% -18.6% 2.4% -17.9% -9.8%    
   year-over-year % change -73.0% 63.8% -83.7% -34.5% -64.5% -66.4% 53.1% -4.3% -17.1% 25.8% -44.7%
TOTAL ENGINEERING 16.622 15.102 9.658 15.927 14.655 12.309 15.034 14.374 13.876 143.203 120.462
   month-over-month % change 1.9% -9.1% -22.9% 0.2% -8.0% -16.0% -0.7% -4.4% -3.5%    
   year-over-year % change -16.4% -5.9% -38.2% -13.9% -22.0% -29.2% 8.1% -1.6% -6.5% 11.7% -15.9%
GRAND TOTAL 62.009 55.859 47.033 59.028 59.519 54.133 62.365 60.308 58.594 629.061 503.753
   month-over-month % change 10.6% -9.9% -18.8% 2.0% 0.8% -9.0% -2.4% -3.3% -2.8%    
   year-over-year % change -20.0% -26.4% -30.4% -25.0% -24.4% -28.2% -3.3% -8.7% -12.2% 6.0% -19.9%
NONRES BLDG + ENGINEERING 31.212 32.358 24.347 35.087 33.905 29.306 38.163 36.249 34.892 408.541 296.447
   month-over-month % change -18.2% 3.7% -24.8% -3.4% -3.4% -13.6% -4.2% -5.0% -3.7%    
   year-over-year % change -38.9% -41.5% -40.1% -35.2% -35.5% -40.2% -6.3% -14.1% -18.2% 12.0% -27.4%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

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

  JAN-SEP 2019   JAN-SEP 2020   % Change
           
Connecticut $4,267,180,874   $2,963,007,436   -30.6%
Maine $1,513,385,108   $1,228,696,719   -18.8%
Massachusetts $10,542,459,216   $6,792,238,657   -35.6%
New Hampshire $1,324,660,161   $690,494,052   -47.9%
Rhode Island $715,426,473   $649,914,513   -9.2%
Vermont $334,123,220   $453,352,690   35.7%
Total New England $18,697,235,052   $12,777,704,067   -31.7%
New Jersey $5,418,503,837   $5,155,122,996   -4.9%
New York $19,984,226,613   $14,402,972,011   -27.9%
Pennsylvania $12,716,283,436   $7,927,975,882   -37.7%
Total Middle Atlantic $38,119,013,886   $27,486,070,889   -27.9%
TOTAL NORTHEAST $56,816,248,938   $40,263,774,956   -29.1%
Illinois $13,098,357,881   $11,285,220,582   -13.8%
Indiana $6,513,259,849   $6,479,985,471   -0.5%
Michigan $11,642,774,281   $5,680,980,953   -51.2%
Ohio $11,289,630,430   $10,817,493,680   -4.2%
Wisconsin $8,689,045,057   $7,196,166,835   -17.2%
Total East North Central $51,233,067,498   $41,459,847,521   -19.1%
Iowa $5,129,496,282   $4,281,030,645   -16.5%
Kansas $3,900,351,270   $3,194,907,524   -18.1%
Minnesota $9,240,531,344   $6,492,302,094   -29.7%
Missouri $6,477,169,115   $7,906,655,207   22.1%
Nebraska $3,143,199,905   $3,527,347,650   12.2%
North Dakota $2,177,233,774   $2,111,714,878   -3.0%
South Dakota $1,915,789,079   $1,014,543,507   -47.0%
Total West North Central $31,983,770,769   $28,528,501,505   -10.8%
TOTAL MIDWEST $83,216,838,267   $69,988,349,026   -15.9%
Delaware $977,563,511   $1,081,641,716   10.6%
District of Columbia $1,711,058,421   $751,761,535   -56.1%
Florida $26,360,123,876   $17,180,546,509   -34.8%
Georgia $15,046,534,725   $8,473,510,310   -43.7%
Maryland $5,689,170,398   $5,483,554,033   -3.6%
North Carolina $11,949,272,600   $7,615,722,246   -36.3%
South Carolina $5,496,776,218   $3,967,505,863   -27.8%
Virginia $12,102,337,539   $8,215,180,802   -32.1%
West Virginia $1,352,896,728   $1,923,283,095   42.2%
Total South Atlantic $80,685,734,016   $54,692,706,109   -32.2%
Alabama $7,111,218,558   $3,818,515,654   -46.3%
Kentucky $5,120,248,213   $2,605,563,660   -49.1%
Mississippi $2,062,851,784   $2,243,513,321   8.8%
Tennessee $6,728,324,242   $6,191,075,175   -8.0%
Total East South Central $21,022,642,797   $14,858,667,810   -29.3%
Arkansas $2,619,732,322   $2,943,580,494   12.4%
Louisiana $7,694,089,418   $3,438,340,323   -55.3%
Oklahoma $3,991,862,563   $3,194,624,114   -20.0%
Texas $67,963,327,407   $34,796,894,952   -48.8%
Total West South Central $82,269,011,710   $44,373,439,883   -46.1%
TOTAL SOUTH $183,977,388,523   $113,924,813,802   -38.1%
Arizona $6,684,233,857   $6,202,008,602   -7.2%
Colorado $8,197,533,828   $5,538,778,475   -32.4%
Idaho $1,935,460,769   $1,176,667,917   -39.2%
Montana $1,089,261,146   $1,362,096,958   25.0%
Nevada $5,260,664,050   $2,837,616,060   -46.1%
New Mexico $2,217,332,580   $1,946,571,141   -12.2%
Utah $4,387,989,457   $5,179,757,993   18.0%
Wyoming $4,002,861,435   $850,554,468   -78.8%
Total Mountain $33,775,337,122   $25,094,051,614   -25.7%
Alaska $868,827,026   $1,112,620,994   28.1%
California $29,938,010,062   $29,984,987,854   0.2%
Hawaii $1,819,472,516   $1,569,084,722   -13.8%
Oregon $4,395,863,384   $3,230,244,560   -26.5%
Washington $13,733,480,893   $11,279,403,491   -17.9%
Total Pacific $50,755,653,881   $47,176,341,621   -7.1%
TOTAL WEST $84,530,991,003   $72,270,393,235   -14.5%
TOTAL U.S. $408,541,466,731   $296,447,331,019   -27.4%

*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.

     
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