Construction Report: Strong Spending and Employment in 2018

| December 19, 2018

Joseph Natarelli

New York – Pointing to massive increases in infrastructure spending, coupled with a growing backlog of construction jobs that is driving industry employment, the Marcum Commercial Construction Index for the third quarter declared 2018 a good year for the construction industry.

The index was produced by Marcum’s National Construction Services Group and was authored by Anirban Basu, Marcum’s chief construction economist.

Spending in water supply increased 23 percent year-over-year as of October 2018. Transportation spending was up 12.5 percent. Other subsectors recording double-digit increases included lodging (18.9 percent), amusement & recreation (16.2 percent), office (14.8 percent), and public safety (10.3 percent).

Only three nonresidential subsectors, out of 16, registered negative growth during the 12-month period: religious (-9.1 percent), communication (-4.7 percent), and healthcare (-1.0 percent).

Employment trends in construction also showed strong results. The industry added 30,000 net new construction jobs in October and 330,000 year-over-year, a gain of 4.7 percent.  Nonresidential construction accounted for almost half of the employment growth in October, split approximately evenly between heavy and civil engineering and nonresidential specialty trade, with a gain in excess of 7,000 net new jobs each.

Joseph Natarelli, national leader of Marcum’s Construction Services group, said, “The results reported for our industry are, I am happy (if cautiously so) to say, almost entirely good news. The economy keeps growing and is doing so in areas that directly affect the success of our industry.”


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