Construction added 18,000 jobs last month, driving industry unemployment down to 14.7 percent according to the recently released Jobs Report. It was the 10th consecutive month of increases in construction jobs, and a three-year national high.
Analysts for the Associated General Contractors of America maintain a tempered optimism however, as strong growth in the residential and non-residential sectors is contrasted by flat or falling trends in public works construction. Officials noted that, for policy makers to benefit, they must focus on improving infrastructure for the entire construction industry.
Geographical Hot Spots
Texas leads the nation in new residents and new home construction. Favorable taxes rates, climate, and a strong state economy are leading factors in the migration to the Lone Star State. Surprisingly, the comparatively small population of North Dakota experienced the largest national percentage increase (2.17%), with growth attributed to the state’s oil and gas boom.
The Next 12-18 Months
So, where else is construction on the rise? Reed Construction Data created an Expansion Index that looks at the national construction industry over the next 12-18 months. Updated monthly, the Index shows whether the construction volume of a specific region is expected to expand or contract in the upcoming year. Interestingly, it shows mixed growth signals for areas of Texas, indicating the areas where new residents are settling.