Construction Employment and Spending Hit 3-Year High

 Construction Employment and Spending Hit 3 Year HighFor those who remain skeptical of the construction industry’s return in 2013, here are a few numbers that may sway your opinion. A press release from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) confirmed last week that in January the U.S. hit a three–year high for both construction employment and spending.

  • 28,000 jobs were added in January, the eighth straight month of job growth
  • Construction spending was up 7.8%, the ninth month in a row that spending grew

“The new employment data show the industry lost even more jobs in the recession than previously estimated but has added almost 300,000 jobs in the past two years, including nearly 100,000 since September,” said AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. “Meanwhile, the steady rise in construction spending since last March suggests contractors will be hiring even more workers in the months ahead.”

This report comes on the heels of similar federal employment data that confirmed positive construction employment numbers in 139 of 337 metropolitan areas between December 2011 and December 2012. During the same time period, 133 cities felt a decline while 65 remained unchanged.

Spending in December totaled $885 billion, the most since September 2009. That’s a 0.9 percent increase since November and 7.8 percent over a year ago. Private residential construction saw the largest gain at 2.2 percent for the month and 24 percent over a year ago. Private non-residential spending grew 1.8 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively. Public construction spending, however, dipped 2.6 percent in December and 17 percent compared to the same time last year.

Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, residential or commercial, these numbers suggest more than a spike, but a trend of sustained growth and a positive outlook for 2013.

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