Tough Competing with ‘Normal’ but 3 Mega Projects Helped

ConstructConnect announced today that March 2021’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $32.2 billion, an increase of +60.1% versus February’s distressed level of only $20.1 billion (see green shaded box, bottom of Table 8 below).

Total nonresidential (NR) groundbreakings in the latest month received boosts from three mega-sized projects, an auto plant expansion in Tennessee and two big hospital jobs located in Ohio and California (see Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. – March 2021).


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Click here to download the complete Construction Industry Snapshot Package – March 2021 PDF .

Leaving aside the exceptional weakness of total NR starts in the previous month (February), latest March’s starts volume failed to match year-ago March’s level, falling short by -7.9%.

Also, year-to-date starts through the first quarter of 2021 were off by one-fifth (-20.0%) relative to January-March 2020.

Keep in mind that Q1 of last year was mostly ‘normal’ with respect to a broad range of economic indicators, including ‘starts.’ The truly harmful effects caused by the outbreak of coronavirus infections occurred from the spring of 2020 on. Proceeding further into 2021, a ‘diminishing base (or denominator) effect’ will put a better polish on year-over-year comparisons.

The Starts Versus PIP Relationship

‘Starts’ compile the total estimated dollar value and square footage of all projects on which ground is broken in any given month. They lead, by nine months to as much as two years, put-in-place (PIP) statistics which are analogous to work-in-progress payments as the building of structures proceeds to completion.

PIP numbers cover the ‘universe’ of construction, new plus all manner of renovation activity, with residential traditionally making up two-fifths of the total and nonresidential, three-fifths (i.e., the bigger portion). Presently, though, according to the Census Bureau’s February 2021 PIP report for total U.S. construction spending, the mix has skewed more towards residential (47% of the total) and away from nonresidential (53%) than usual.

PIP numbers, being more spread out, have smaller peak-over-trough percent-change amplitudes than the ‘starts’ series. As an additional valuable service for clients and powered by its extensive ‘starts’ database, ConstructConnect, in partnership with Oxford Economics, a world leader in econometric model building, has developed put-in-place construction statistics by types of structure for U.S. states and cities, ‘actuals’ and forecasts.

Excellent Bounce Back for Construction Employment in March

The U.S. total jobs count was +916,000 in March and the construction sector played a major role in lifting that figure so high. The number of construction jobs in the latest month was +110,000. Graph 1 sets out the composition of the total gain, with nonresidential sub-trade contractors contributing the most, +38,000 jobs, followed by residential sub-trade contractors and engineering general contractors, tied at +27,000 each.  

The construction sector’s not seasonally adjusted (NSA) unemployment rate improved by one full percentage point in March, moving down to 8.6% from 9.6% in February. The sector’s unemployment rate in March 2020 was 6.9%, but then it ballooned to 16.6% in April. Therefore, in a month from now, when a year-over-year comparison of unemployment rates is made, 2021’s result is going to appear outstanding next to 2020’s.

Construction’s -1.2% year-over-year performance in total employment is already looking pretty good relative to total jobs (-4.5%), private services-providing jobs (-4.6%), and manufacturing (-3.4%). Among industrial subsectors, only financial activities (-0.7%) and transportation and warehousing (-1.1%) are doing better, and only marginally. Those latter two corners of the economy are benefitting from a booming stock market and supercharged digital retail sales that require souped-up distribution channels.

The latest year-over-year payroll adjustments in some other pockets of the economy with close ties to construction have been: machinery and equipment rental and leasing, -13.6%; cement and concrete product manufacturing, -6.9%; oil and gas extraction, -1.4%; real estate, -1.0%; and architectural and engineering services, -0.3%. Again, though, many of those negative year-over-year percentage changes will lighten up next month. It should also be noted that building material and supplies retailers have maintained extraordinary staffing success, +8.1% y/y in the most recent period.

Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, recently stated that the U.S. economy is at an ‘inflection point,’ preparing to soon display considerably stronger output growth, provided it is not derailed by further spiking waves of coronavirus infections.  

Graph 1: Change in Level of U.S. Construction Employment, Month to Month (M/M) −
Total & by Categories – March, 2021

The total change in the level of U.S. Construction Employment, Month to Month (M/M) for February, 2021, was -61,000 jobs - not good.

For each month, ‘net’ = zero. ‘Sub-trade’ in BLS data referred to as ‘specialty’ trade.

Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 2: U.S. Employment March, 2021 – % Change Y/Y
Based on Seasonally Adjusted (SA) Data

Services jobs fell more severely, on a y/y basis, in the Spring of 2020 than in Summer, 2009. Construction &  manufacturing, though, did not experience jobs drops that were as steep as their declines 11 years prior.

The latest data points are for March, 2021.

Data source: Payroll Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 3: Y/Y Jobs Change, U.S. Total Industry & Major Subsectors − March 2021 (based on seasonally adjusted payroll data)

Can-vs-US-U-Rate-Employ-Mar-21-4-Jobs-Change-1

Data source: Payroll Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Dept of Labor).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 4: Sales by U.S Building Material & Supplies Dealers

The background numbers for this graph are a subset derived from a broader designation that includes garden equipment. Also, the reported data for sales by 'building material & supplies dealers' alone is always a month behind. Jan 2021 results were +4.7% m/m and +19.3% y/y.

Data source: Census Bureau.
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Table 1: Monitoring the U.S. employment recovery ‒ March 2021

Monitoring the U.S. employment recovery ‒ March 2021 Chart

Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

A Good Month for Health Care & Commercial Subcategory Starts

In March 2021, total nonresidential starts were +60.1% compared with February (i.e., month to month). In percentage-change terms, the surge was led by industrial starts (+502.3%), with a big assist from General Motors (see Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. – March 2021). The other three major type-of-structure subcategories, however, also chipped in with solid increases. Institutional (+53.4% m/m), engineering (+50.7%), and commercial (+47.9%) each recorded starts volume gains of approximately plus a half.

Year over year in the latest period (i.e., March 2021 vs March 2020), there was a relatively minor setback in total nonresidential starts (-7.9%) that was centered a little more in engineering work (-17.6%) than in institutional (-10.9%) and commercial (-10.3%). Industrial starts hoisted a sprightly banner on the plus side, +218.5% y/y.  

On a year-to-date basis, at the end of Q1, (i.e., Jan-Mar 2021/Jan-Mar 2020) total NR starts fell by one-fifth (-20.0%), with most of the drag coming from commercial (-43.8%), although there was also weakness in institutional (-16.4%). Heavy engineering/civil came up a little short (-6.3%). Industrial’s starts volume stayed about even (-1.1%) with the first three months of last year.  

Delving deeper into the type-of-structure sub-categories, the two that usually butt heads over which will account for the biggest share of total nonresidential starts are ‘school/college’ and ‘road/highway.’ Presently, their slices year to date are 14.4% and 15.4% respectively, summing to 29.8% (i.e. approaching one-third). The three metrics for educational facility starts in March were -2.2% m/m, -48.6% y/y, and -28.0% ytd. By comparison, road/highway starts were more buoyant, +52.6% m/m, although -2.8% y/y and -5.0% ytd.

Total health care facility starts in March – i.e., combining the categories ‘hospital/clinic’, ‘nursing/assisted living’ and ‘miscellaneous medical’ – were encouraging: +154.4% m/m; +83.7% y/y; and +3.3% ytd. Mega-sized hospital project initiations in Ohio and California helped (see Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. – March 2021).

There were numerous surprisingly upbeat month-to-month percentage changes among commercial subcategories. Hotel/motel starts were +86.0% m/m; retail/shopping, +55.5%; amusement, +31.9%; and warehouse, +76.4%. In most instances, the large leaps were achieved over low base numbers in February. On a year-to-date basis, the starts volume changes for all of commercial’s subcategories came with negative signs.

Clearly, the new Biden Administration in Washington will be supporting electrification of the U.S. economy and it’s interesting to note, from Table 2, that starts on electric power infrastructure were +98.7% in this year’s Q1.  

Table 2: Construction Starts in Some Additional Type of Structure Sub-Categories

  Jan-mar 2021 % Change vs
  ($ billions) Jan-mar 2020
     
Sports Stadiums/Convention Centers $1.067 -24.2%
Transportation Teminals $0.172 -73.2%
Courthouses $0.645 -9.0%
Police Stations & Fire Halls $0.865 -7.6%
Prisons $0.407 4.7%
Pre-School/Elementary $3.349 -27.0%
Junior & Senior High Schools $5.246 -21.7%
     K-12  (sum of above two categories) $8.594 -23.9%
Special & Vocational Schools $0.277 -32.8%
Colleges & Universities $2.797 -37.9%
Electric Power Infrastructure $1.826 98.7%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

JOLTS Data Speaks of Construction Employment Ambiguity

Besides the Employment Situation report, the BLS also publishes a monthly JOLTS summary, where JOLTS is an acronym for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. JOLTS data on construction employment introduces some ambiguity concerning March’s jump of +110,000 on-site jobs featured in the more-heavily touted BLS release.

Graph 5 shows construction job ‘openings’ which, as both a level and rate, have moderated from their peaks in 2019, but are still quite high. They remain above earlier local peaks in 2007 and 2001. ‘Hirings’ in Graph 6, though, after displaying an extreme amplitude in the Spring of last year, first going into a deep dive then rebounding mightily, have now settled into territory that is a little above average as a level, but is depressed as a rate.

More context should be provided concerning the latest month’s +110,000 increase in construction jobs found in the Employment Situation report. It came on the heels of a -56,000 jobs performance in February. Seemingly, more time will be needed to determine if construction employment is on a true upswing, as indicated by March’s number, or is rather in a bouncing up and down phase.      

Graph 5: U.S. Construction Job Openings (from JOLTS Report)
(3-month Moving Averages placed in Latest Month)

U.S. Construction Job Openings (from JOLTS Report) Chart

*Rate is number of job openings end-of-month as % of ‘construction employment plus number of job openings’.
Latest seasonally adjusted data points are for Feb. 2021. … JOLTS = Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 6: U.S. Construction Job Hires (from JOLTS Report)
(3-month Moving Averages placed in Latest Month)

U.S. Construction Job Hires (from JOLTS Report) Chart

*Rate is number of job openings end-of-month as % of ‘construction employment plus number of job openings’.
Latest seasonally adjusted data points are for Feb. 2021. … JOLTS = Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Some Exceptions to Starts Trend Line Descents

Most of the curves among the half dozen 12-month moving average trend graphs (Nonresidential Construction Starts Trend Graphs – March 2021) still display the downward slopes that have been their main characteristic over the past year or so.

But there are a few exceptions. A minor uptick has just appeared in the trend line for hospitals/clinics. The graphs for roads/highways and water/sewage have stayed somewhat elevated and level through the pandemic hard times of the past year. Finally, miscellaneous civil has flattened out over the latest four months.

Construction Workers Not in Pay Hike Vanguard

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 Table B-3 (including bosses), ‘all jobs’ earnings y/y in March 2021 were +4.2% hourly and +6.7% weekly. For construction workers, as a subset of ‘all jobs,’ the pay hikes were less spectacular, +2.5% hourly and +3.8% weekly. From Table B-8 (excluding supervisors), ‘all jobs’ compensation increases in the latest month were +4.4% hourly and +7.2% weekly. Again, construction workers, at +2.4% hourly and +4.0% weekly, weren’t in the vanguard.

Graph 7: Average Hourly Earnings Y/Y – ‘All Jobs’ & Construction

Average Hourly Earnings Y/Y - 'All Jobs' & Construction Chart

From ‘Production Workers and Non-supervisory Personnel’ Table (B8).
The latest data points are for March, 2021

Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s Employment Situation report.
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Graph 8: Average Weekly Earnings Y/Y – ‘All Jobs’ & Construction

Average Weekly Earnings Y/Y - 'All Jobs' & Construction Chart

From ‘Production Workers and Non-supervisory Personnel’ Table (B8).
The latest data points are for March, 2021

Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s Employment Situation report.
Chart: ConstructConnect.

Table 3: Q1 2021 Ranking of Top 20 States by YTD $ Volume of Nonresidential Construction Starts – ConstructConnect

    Jan-MAR 2021 % Change vs Jan-MAR 2020
       
1 Texas $10,416,889,209 -2.0%
2 California $7,997,893,211 -23.3%
3 Florida $4,816,921,643 -25.5%
4 Ohio $4,126,854,473 49.4%
5 New York $3,640,503,569 -36.1%
6 Tennessee $3,636,358,370 36.7%
7 Georgia $3,388,558,746 -8.9%
8 Minnesota $3,353,798,791 96.5%
9 Illinois $2,571,915,181 -11.5%
10 Pennsylvania $2,485,456,139 -6.6%
11 North Carolina $2,389,468,122 -0.9%
12 Virginia $2,283,192,217 -36.9%
13 Michigan $1,830,456,583 7.2%
14 Missouri $1,782,954,148 -23.4%
15 Washington $1,588,773,234 -42.9%
16 South Carolina $1,547,145,327 13.1%
17 Indiana $1,529,848,681 -27.4%
18 Massachusetts $1,425,066,119 -31.2%
19 Colorado $1,352,366,466 -36.8%
20 Maine $1,335,723,456 234.2%

Figures are comprised of non-res building & engineering (residential is omitted).

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

Table 4: Q1 2021 Ranking of Top 20 States by YTD $ Volume of Nonresidential Building Construction Starts – ConstructConnect

    Jan-MAR 2021 % Change vs Jan-MAR 2020
       
1 Texas $6,159,640,331 -8.5%
2 California $4,894,692,090 -13.4%
3 Ohio $3,240,749,314 92.8%
4 Tennessee $3,237,551,653 58.8%
5 Florida $2,881,550,435 -37.1%
6 Georgia $2,399,707,139 -2.9%
7 New York $2,080,171,700 -48.4%
8 Pennsylvania $1,801,892,186 34.1%
9 North Carolina $1,781,061,878 -2.2%
10 Virginia $1,700,154,832 -34.2%
11 Illinois $1,477,020,024 -6.2%
12 Missouri $1,294,058,120 -23.4%
13 South Carolina $1,021,101,274 12.4%
14 Massachusetts $1,019,799,540 -36.1%
15 Washington $974,440,958 -48.9%
16 Michigan $934,767,879 -18.7%
17 Alabama $909,397,173 -27.0%
18 Colorado $825,775,610 -49.0%
19 Arizona $769,551,060 -77.1%
20 Utah $636,171,666 -54.2%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

Table 5: Q1 2021 Ranking of Top 20 States by YTD $ Volume of Heavy/Engineering Civil Construction Starts – ConstructConnect

    Jan-MAR 2021 % Change vs Jan-mar 2020
       
1 Texas $4,257,248,878 9.1%
2 California $3,103,201,121 -35.0%
3 Minnesota $2,952,908,765 213.0%
4 Florida $1,935,371,208 2.3%
5 New York $1,560,331,869 -6.2%
6 Maine $1,190,501,608 274.9%
7 Illinois $1,094,895,157 -17.7%
8 Georgia $988,851,607 -20.7%
9 Indiana $949,087,190 4.5%
10 Michigan $895,688,704 60.8%
11 Ohio $886,105,159 -18.1%
12 Wisconsin $811,706,231 31.1%
13 Pennsylvania $683,563,953 -48.1%
14 Washington $614,332,276 -29.7%
15 North Carolina $608,406,244 3.2%
16 Oklahoma $585,677,254 69.0%
17 Virginia $583,037,385 -43.6%
18 Colorado $526,590,856 1.1%
19 South Carolina $526,044,053 14.7%
20 Missouri $488,896,028 -23.5%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

Building Material Costs have been Skyrocketing

March 2021’s y/y results for three structures-related BLS Producer Price Index (PPI) series were as follows: ‘construction materials special index,’ +16.6% (a significant step up from February’s already eye-catching +12.4%); ‘inputs to new construction index, excluding capital investment, labor, and imports,’ +13.5% (a further acceleration from February’s +10.0%); and ‘final demand construction,’ +1.5% (higher than the previous month’s +1.0%, but still restrained). Material input costs have been soaring, but contractors have not been raising their bid prices in like fashion. In the interest of winning work, they’ve largely been ‘eating’ their extra expenses.

What are some of the major material cost climbs that have been occurring? On a y/y basis, according to latest PPI results, softwood lumber is +83.4%; unleaded regular gasoline, +57.0%; copper wire and cable, +26.7%; and hot rolled steel bars, plates and structural shapes, +20.3%. Quieter on the cost front, or at least recording single-digit y/y percentage increases, have been asphalt, +9.0%; aluminum sheet and strip, +5.7%; gypsum products, +6.2%; and cement, +3.4%.

The value of construction starts each month is derived from ConstructConnect’s database of all active construction projects in the United States. 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. 

2021’s Q1 ‘Grand Total’ Starts -12.4% Ytd

From Table 8 below, ConstructConnect’s total residential starts in March 2021 were +7.4% m/m and +2.3% y/y, but -1.2% ytd. Multi-family starts have languished while singles have taken wing. The latest month’s multi-unit starts were -17.6% m/m, -24.1% y/y, and -21.7% ytd. But single-family starts in March 2021 were +17.5% m/m, +13.5% y/y, and +7.7% ytd. Including home building with all nonresidential categories, ConstructConnect’s ‘Grand Total’ starts in 2021’s third month were +32.3% m/m, but -3.8% y/y and -12.4% ytd.

ConstructConnect adopts a research-assigned ‘start’ date. In concept, a ‘start’ is equivalent to ground being broken for a project to proceed. If work is abandoned or re-bid, the ‘start’ date is revised to reflect the new information.


Expansion Index Monitors Construction Prospects 

The economy may be in recovery mode, but nonresidential work is usually a lagging player. Companies are hesitant to undertake capital spending until their personnel needs are rapidly expanding and their office square footage or plant footprints are straining capacity. Also, it helps if profits are abundant. (Today’s greater tendency to work from home has made office occupancy much more difficult to assess.)

Each month, ConstructConnect publishes information on upcoming construction projects on its Expansion Index page.   

The Expansion Index, for hundreds of cities in the U.S. and Canada, calculates the ratio, based on dollar volume, of projects in the planning stage, at present, divided by the comparable figure a year ago. The ratio moves above 1.0 when there is currently a larger dollar volume of construction ‘prospects’ than there was last year at the same time. The ratio sinks below 1.0 when the opposite is the case. The results are set out in interactive maps for both countries.


Click here to download the Construction Industry Snapshot Package – March 2021 PDF.

Click here for the Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. – March 2021.

Click here for the Nonresidential Construction Starts Trend Graphs – March 2021.

TABLE 6: VALUE OF UNITED STATES NONRESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION STARTS
MARCH 2021 – CONSTRUCTCONNECT

    % Change   % Change   % Change
  Jan-MAR 21 Jan-MAR 21 vs    MAR 21 vs   MAR 21 vs
  ($ billions) Jan-MAR 20   MAR 20   FEB 21
             
Hotel/Motel 1.310 -71.2%   -46.5%   86.0%
Retail 2.569 -23.1%   -17.6%   55.5%
Parking Garage 0.566 -4.2%   -31.2%   -59.4%
Amusement 1.515 -19.5%   2.1%   31.9%
Private Office  2.902 -61.7%   -39.1%   -1.4%
Government Office 2.172 -12.7%   -11.8%   14.0%
Laboratory 0.373 -52.2%   0.1%   64.3%
Warehouse 3.943 -36.9%   30.3%   76.4%
Miscellaneous Commercial* 1.239 -39.6%   17.8%   297.0%
COMMERCIAL (big subset) 16.590 -43.8%   -10.3%   47.9%
             
INDUSTRIAL (Manufacturing) 4.884 -1.1%   218.5%   502.3%
             
Religious 0.185 -64.9%   -64.7%   89.2%
Hospital/Clinic 5.580 67.7%   480.3%   216.3%
Nursing/Assisted Living 0.946 -52.5%   -34.6%   263.1%
Library/Museum 0.510 -69.8%   -15.0%   91.2%
Police/Courthouse/Prison 1.917 -5.8%   -23.0%   4.0%
Military 2.575 73.8%   121.5%   191.0%
School/College 11.669 -28.0%   -48.6%   -2.2%
Miscellaneous Medical 1.287 -42.8%   -65.8%   -17.1%
INSTITUTIONAL 24.669 -16.4%   -10.9%   53.4%
             
Miscellaneous Nonresidential 1.287 -14.5%   -17.7%   -9.1%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 47.430 -27.5%   -1.0%   66.2%
             
Airport 0.485 -47.9%   -68.9%   2.1%
Road/Highway 12.502 -5.0%   -2.8%   52.6%
Bridge 4.916 -30.0%   -39.3%   59.1%
Dam/Marine 1.382 -26.7%   -17.8%   25.5%
Water/Sewage 7.774 6.3%   -13.6%   37.6%
Miscellaneous Civil (power, pipelines, etc.) 6.652 17.1%   -19.6%   93.1%
HEAVY ENGINEERING (Civil) 33.711 -6.3%   -17.6%   50.7%
             
TOTAL NONRESIDENTIAL 81.141 -20.0%   -7.9%   60.1%

*Includes transportation terminals and sports arenas.

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

TABLE 7: VALUE OF UNITED STATES CONSTRUCTION STARTS
CONSTRUCTCONNECT INSIGHT VERSION – MARCH 2021
Arranged to match the alphabetical category drop-down menus in INSIGHT

        % Change     % Change % Change
      Jan-Mar 21 Jan-Mar 21 vs     Mar 21 vs Mar 21 vs
      ($ billions) Jan-Mar 20     Mar 20 Feb 21
                 
Summary              
CIVIL     33.711 -6.3%     -17.6% 50.7%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 47.430 -27.5%     -1.0% 66.2%
RESIDENTIAL   68.164 -1.2%     2.3% 7.4%
GRAND TOTAL   149.305 -12.4%     -3.8% 32.3%
                 
Verticals              
    Airport 0.485 -47.9%     -68.9% 2.1%
    All Other Civil 4.826 1.3%     -15.8% 79.3%
    Bridges 4.916 -30.0%     -39.3% 59.1%
    Dams / Canals / Marine Work 1.382 -26.7%     -17.8% 25.5%
    Power Infrastructure 1.826 98.7%     -25.7% 125.1%
    Roads 12.502 -5.0%     -2.8% 52.6%
    Water and Sewage Treatment 7.774 6.3%     -13.6% 37.6%
CIVIL     33.711 -6.3%     -17.6% 50.7%
    Offices (private) 2.902 -61.7%     -39.1% -1.4%
    Parking Garages 0.566 -4.2%     -31.2% -59.4%
    Transportation Terminals 0.172 -73.2%     -77.7% -39.8%
  Commercial (small subset) 3.640 -58.7%     -43.3% -16.7%
    Amusement 1.515 -19.5%     2.1% 31.9%
    Libraries / Museums 0.510 -69.8%     -15.0% 91.2%
    Religious 0.185 -64.9%     -64.7% 89.2%
    Sports Arenas / Convention Centers 1.067 -24.2%     61.3% 512.1%
  Community 3.277 -40.5%     4.5% 119.3%
    College / University 2.797 -37.9%     -59.4% -17.5%
    Elementary / Pre School 3.349 -27.0%     -48.5% 40.8%
    Jr / Sr High School 5.246 -21.7%     -41.8% -13.1%
    Special / Vocational 0.277 -32.8%     -58.9% -28.0%
  Educational 11.669 -28.0%     -48.6% -2.2%
    Courthouses 0.645 -9.0%     -30.7% -39.9%
    Fire and Police Stations 0.865 -7.6%     4.3% 24.4%
    Government Offices 2.172 -12.7%     -11.8% 14.0%
    Prisons 0.407 4.7%     -53.3% 58.3%
  Government 4.089 -9.6%     -16.4% 9.9%
    Industrial Labs / Labs / School Labs 0.373 -52.2%     0.1% 64.3%
    Manufacturing 4.884 -1.1%     218.5% 502.3%
    Warehouses 3.943 -36.9%     30.3% 76.4%
  Industrial 9.200 -23.1%     94.1% 196.1%
    Hospitals / Clinics 5.580 67.7%     480.3% 216.3%
    Medical Misc. 1.287 -42.8%     -65.8% -17.1%
    Nursing Homes 0.946 -52.5%     -34.6% 263.1%
  Medical   7.813 3.3%     83.7% 154.4%
  Military   2.575 73.8%     121.5% 191.0%
    Hotels 1.310 -71.2%     -46.5% 86.0%
    Retail Misc. 1.287 -14.5%     -17.7% -9.1%
    Shopping 2.569 -23.1%     -17.6% 55.5%
  Retail   5.166 -45.0%     -28.0% 40.7%
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING 47.430 -27.5%     -1.0% 66.2%
    Multi-Family 16.373 -21.7%     -24.1% -17.6%
    Single-Family 51.791 7.7%     13.5% 17.5%
RESIDENTIAL   68.164 -1.2%     2.3% 7.4%
NONRESIDENTIAL 81.141 -20.0%     -7.9% 60.1%
GRAND TOTAL   149.305 -12.4%     -3.8% 32.3%

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 8: VALUE OF UNITED STATES NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION STARTS – MARCH 2021 – 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 21 feb 21 mar 21 jan 21 feb 21 mar 21 jan 21 feb 21 mar 21 2020 2021
                       
Single Family 17.026 15.983 18.782 18.754 17.624 17.264 18.435 18.406 18.593 48.071 51.791
   month-over-month % change -14.3% -6.1% 17.5% -8.5% -6.0% -2.0% 0.8% -0.2% 1.0%    
   year-over-year % change 12.0% -2.1% 13.5% 22.2% 12.3% 7.7% 11.2% 9.1% 9.9% 9.4% 7.7%
Apartment 4.567 6.472 5.333 5.225 5.231 5.458 6.202 6.200 6.060 20.921 16.373
   month-over-month % change -1.9% 41.7% -17.6% -13.9% 0.1% 4.3% -3.7% 0.0% -2.3%    
   year-over-year % change -38.4% -0.2% -24.1% -38.3% -30.4% -21.7% -25.2% -24.3% -25.5% -6.3% -21.7%
TOTAL RESIDENTIAL 21.593 22.456 24.115 23.979 22.856 22.721 24.637 24.607 24.652 68.992 68.164
   month-over-month % change -11.9% 4.0% 7.4% -9.7% -4.7% -0.6% -0.3% -0.1% 0.2%    
   year-over-year % change -4.5% -1.6% 2.3% 0.7% -1.6% -1.2% -0.9% -1.8% -1.6% 4.1% -1.2%
Hotel/Motel 0.481 0.290 0.539 0.574 0.332 0.437 0.762 0.619 0.579 4.544 1.310
   month-over-month % change 112.8% -39.7% 86.0% -8.0% -42.1% 31.4% -10.3% -18.8% -6.3%    
   year-over-year % change -68.5% -85.6% -46.5% -73.1% -82.1% -71.2% -61.1% -68.7% -68.3% -26.0% -71.2%
Retail 0.823 0.683 1.063 0.779 0.701 0.856 0.964 0.951 0.932 3.339 2.569
   month-over-month % change 38.0% -16.9% 55.5% -10.1% -10.0% 22.2% -3.2% -1.4% -2.0%    
   year-over-year % change -31.5% -19.4% -17.6% -31.1% -29.6% -23.1% -29.3% -26.0% -27.1% -26.0% -23.1%
Parking Garages 0.229 0.240 0.097 0.132 0.182 0.189 0.133 0.147 0.143 0.591 0.566
   month-over-month % change 191.0% 4.9% -59.4% 28.6% 37.6% 3.4% -8.4% 10.4% -2.5%    
   year-over-year % change -39.0% 222.7% -31.2% -49.0% -4.8% -4.2% -50.5% -44.8% -42.2% -24.7% -4.2%
Amusement 0.416 0.474 0.625 0.394 0.432 0.505 0.497 0.492 0.494 1.882 1.515
   month-over-month % change 2.3% 13.9% 31.9% -22.6% 9.7% 16.8% -5.1% -1.0% 0.2%    
   year-over-year % change -43.5% -11.2% 2.1% -34.8% -32.2% -19.5% -23.0% -25.0% -25.0% 19.3% -19.5%
Office 1.342 0.786 0.775 2.141 1.220 0.967 1.866 1.644 1.602 7.576 2.902
   month-over-month % change -12.4% -41.5% -1.4% -2.8% -43.0% -20.7% -6.3% -11.9% -2.5%    
   year-over-year % change -53.0% -77.2% -39.1% -36.5% -55.8% -61.7% -41.6% -51.6% -48.7% 13.6% -61.7%
Governmental Offices 0.645 0.714 0.813 0.725 0.703 0.724 0.887 0.881 0.872 2.488 2.172
   month-over-month % change -14.0% 10.7% 14.0% -2.4% -3.1% 3.0% -1.3% -0.7% -1.0%    
   year-over-year % change -17.4% -9.2% -11.8% -17.4% -9.4% -12.7% -9.9% -11.4% -14.1% 20.9% -12.7%
Laboratories 0.075 0.113 0.186 0.152 0.141 0.124 0.161 0.158 0.158 0.781 0.373
   month-over-month % change -68.4% 51.0% 64.3% -26.5% -6.9% -12.0% -16.2% -1.8% 0.0%    
   year-over-year % change -83.3% -23.5% 0.1% -51.5% -53.1% -52.2% -27.6% -30.8% -29.6% 54.5% -52.2%
Warehouse 0.982 1.072 1.890 1.393 1.011 1.314 1.866 1.837 1.874 6.247 3.943
   month-over-month % change 0.3% 9.2% 76.4% -22.9% -27.4% 30.1% -9.7% -1.5% 2.0%    
   year-over-year % change -71.0% -24.3% 30.3% -44.8% -56.2% -36.9% -8.7% -10.4% -8.8% 50.3% -36.9%
Misc Commercial 0.285 0.192 0.762 0.281 0.210 0.413 0.527 0.492 0.502 2.050 1.239
   month-over-month % change 87.9% -32.6% 297.0% -4.4% -25.5% 97.1% -7.4% -6.6% 2.0%    
   year-over-year % change -64.1% -68.5% 17.8% -74.0% -72.4% -39.6% -67.6% -69.7% -67.9% -47.2% -39.6%
TOTAL COMMERCIAL 5.277 4.563 6.750 6.571 4.932 5.530 7.664 7.221 7.156 29.497 16.590
   month-over-month % change 6.5% -13.5% 47.9% -10.7% -25.0% 12.1% -6.9% -5.8% -0.9%    
   year-over-year % change -56.4% -53.8% -10.3% -46.6% -53.4% -43.8% -37.7% -42.1% -40.3% -2.6% -43.8%
TOTAL INDUSTRIAL  (Manufacturing) 1.601 0.467 2.815 0.968 0.866 1.628 1.700 1.524 1.685 4.938 4.884
   month-over-month % change 202.5% -70.8% 502.3% -27.2% -10.5% 88.0% 0.6% -10.3% 10.6%    
   year-over-year % change 8.4% -81.9% 218.5% -51.4% -54.3% -1.1% -62.3% -66.1% -59.0% -56.7% -1.1%
Religious 0.037 0.051 0.097 0.096 0.087 0.062 0.119 0.114 0.099 0.526 0.185
   month-over-month % change -78.7% 39.7% 89.2% -24.1% -9.6% -28.8% -6.7% -4.3% -13.1%    
   year-over-year % change -73.5% -54.6% -64.7% -38.9% -28.6% -64.9% -21.9% -25.7% -39.2% 12.7% -64.9%
Hosptials/Clinics 0.742 1.162 3.676 1.024 0.857 1.860 1.025 0.999 1.253 3.327 5.580
   month-over-month % change 11.6% 56.6% 216.3% -12.9% -16.4% 117.1% -3.7% -2.5% 25.4%    
   year-over-year % change -39.1% -21.2% 480.3% -48.6% -47.5% 67.7% -42.7% -46.1% -29.4% -13.2% 67.7%
Nursing/Assisted Living 0.428 0.112 0.406 0.507 0.347 0.315 0.569 0.529 0.511 1.991 0.946
   month-over-month % change -14.8% -73.9% 263.1% -9.9% -31.5% -9.2% -4.8% -7.2% -3.4%    
   year-over-year % change -44.4% -81.4% -34.6% -21.6% -42.9% -52.5% -26.2% -29.9% -28.9% -32.9% -52.5%
Libraries/Museums 0.194 0.109 0.208 0.189 0.143 0.170 0.268 0.217 0.214 1.692 0.510
   month-over-month % change 52.7% -43.9% 91.2% 13.5% -24.2% 18.8% -14.1% -19.2% -1.4%    
   year-over-year % change -73.1% -85.0% -15.0% -54.7% -74.1% -69.8% -29.6% -49.9% -49.4% 145.5% -69.8%
Police/Courthouse/Prison 0.922 0.488 0.507 0.900 0.707 0.639 0.672 0.676 0.663 2.035 1.917
   month-over-month % change 29.5% -47.1% 4.0% 12.4% -21.4% -9.6% -0.1% 0.6% -1.9%    
   year-over-year % change -1.2% 10.2% -23.0% 32.8% 12.6% -5.8% 9.7% 8.4% 4.0% 54.5% -5.8%
Military 0.979 0.408 1.188 0.825 0.597 0.858 0.798 0.807 0.861 1.482 2.575
   month-over-month % change 142.6% -58.3% 191.0% -0.3% -27.7% 43.8% 3.7% 1.1% 6.7%    
   year-over-year % change 52.7% 34.3% 121.5% 62.0% 52.4% 73.8% 77.0% 74.6% 82.9% 68.5% 73.8%
Schools/Colleges 3.976 3.888 3.804 3.819 3.688 3.890 5.507 5.495 5.195 16.204 11.669
   month-over-month % change 24.2% -2.2% -2.2% -1.2% -3.4% 5.5% -1.2% -0.2% -5.5%    
   year-over-year % change -16.5% -3.7% -48.6% -21.2% -21.8% -28.0% -12.1% -11.9% -18.1% 1.6% -28.0%
Misc Government 0.390 0.490 0.407 0.587 0.551 0.429 0.635 0.636 0.571 2.248 1.287
   month-over-month % change -49.4% 25.7% -17.1% -8.2% -6.3% -22.1% -2.5% 0.2% -10.2%    
   year-over-year % change -33.6% 3.8% -65.8% -5.2% -12.1% -42.8% -14.4% -16.0% -29.1% 16.3% -42.8%
TOTAL INSTITUTIONAL 7.667 6.709 10.293 7.948 6.976 8.223 9.594 9.472 9.367 29.504 24.669
   month-over-month % change 17.0% -12.5% 53.4% -2.7% -12.2% 17.9% -1.8% -1.3% -1.1%    
   year-over-year % change -21.5% -17.9% -10.9% -19.5% -24.8% -16.4% -14.1% -16.0% -17.4% 5.3% -16.4%
Misc Non Residential 0.398 0.466 0.423 0.428 0.437 0.429 0.450 0.453 0.445 1.506 1.287
   month-over-month % change -11.4% 17.1% -9.1% -8.9% 2.1% -1.9% -3.0% 0.7% -1.7%    
   year-over-year % change -29.4% 8.7% -17.7% -32.3% -8.7% -14.5% -30.8% -28.8% -29.7% -4.3% -14.5%
TOTAL NONRES BUILDING 14.943 12.205 20.282 15.915 13.211 15.810 19.407 18.670 18.653 65.445 47.430
   month-over-month % change 19.7% -18.3% 66.2% -8.1% -17.0% 19.7% -3.7% -3.8% -0.1%    
   year-over-year % change -37.5% -42.0% -1.0% -35.8% -40.6% -27.5% -32.2% -35.4% -33.6% -8.2% -27.5%
Airports 0.128 0.176 0.180 0.315 0.155 0.162 0.501 0.500 0.466 0.931 0.485
   month-over-month % change -20.3% 37.4% 2.1% -25.2% -50.7% 4.1% -0.5% -0.3% -6.6%    
   year-over-year % change -17.5% -10.5% -68.9% 0.7% -41.0% -47.9% -14.6% -8.4% -17.8% -38.6% -47.9%
Roads/Highways 3.532 3.550 5.419 4.072 3.465 4.167 5.264 5.256 5.243 13.159 12.502
   month-over-month % change 6.7% 0.5% 52.6% -10.7% -14.9% 20.3% -0.6% -0.1% -0.2%    
   year-over-year % change -10.3% -2.6% -2.8% -0.5% -13.2% -5.0% -3.6% -3.8% -4.5% 4.6% -5.0%
Bridges 2.060 1.102 1.754 1.907 1.912 1.639 1.861 1.794 1.700 7.019 4.916
   month-over-month % change -20.0% -46.5% 59.1% 20.8% 0.2% -14.3% -0.8% -3.6% -5.3%    
   year-over-year % change -7.7% -41.9% -39.3% -0.8% -0.4% -30.0% -26.1% -27.3% -33.9% 10.4% -30.0%
Dams/Marine 0.456 0.411 0.515 0.536 0.424 0.461 0.642 0.651 0.642 1.885 1.382
   month-over-month % change 12.0% -9.9% 25.5% -30.4% -20.8% 8.5% -6.1% 1.4% -1.4%    
   year-over-year % change -52.4% 36.9% -17.8% -33.6% -23.1% -26.7% -15.6% -14.1% -18.5% 91.8% -26.7%
Water/Sewage 3.016 2.002 2.756 2.427 2.478 2.591 2.674 2.670 2.633 7.315 7.774
   month-over-month % change 24.9% -33.6% 37.6% 12.0% 2.1% 4.6% 3.0% -0.2% -1.4%    
   year-over-year % change 45.7% -2.5% -13.6% -6.3% 1.8% 6.3% 3.7% 3.7% -1.5% 6.9% 6.3%
Misc Civil 4.642 0.686 1.324 2.432 2.203 2.217 1.957 1.932 1.905 5.682 6.652
   month-over-month % change 262.1% -85.2% 93.1% 100.6% -9.4% 0.6% 7.3% -1.3% -1.4%    
   year-over-year % change 52.0% -30.1% -19.6% -39.0% -39.2% 17.1% -51.6% -52.2% -52.6% 57.6% 17.1%
TOTAL ENGINEERING 13.835 7.927 11.949 11.690 10.638 11.237 12.899 12.803 12.590 35.991 33.711
   month-over-month % change 36.3% -42.7% 50.7% 9.1% -9.0% 5.6% 0.9% -0.7% -1.7%    
   year-over-year % change 11.5% -12.6% -17.6% -14.7% -16.8% -6.3% -19.1% -19.2% -21.9% 12.9% -6.3%
GRAND TOTAL 50.371 42.588 56.346 51.584 46.705 49.768 56.943 56.080 55.896 170.427 149.305
   month-over-month % change 6.8% -15.5% 32.3% -5.5% -9.5% 6.6% -1.2% -1.5% -0.3%    
   year-over-year % change -14.5% -19.6% -3.8% -17.2% -19.8% -12.4% -18.0% -19.7% -19.3% 0.6% -12.4%
NONRES BLDG + ENGINEERING 28.777 20.132 32.231 27.605 23.849 27.047 32.306 31.473 31.243 101.436 81.141
   month-over-month % change 27.1% -30.0% 60.1% -1.5% -13.6% 13.4% -1.9% -2.6% -0.7%    
   year-over-year % change -20.8% -33.2% -7.9% -28.3% -31.9% -20.0% -27.5% -29.6% -29.3% -1.7% -20.0%

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.

TABLE 9: U.S. YEAR-TO-DATE REGIONAL STARTS,
NONRESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION* — CONSTRUCTCONNECT

  JAN-mar 2020   JAN-mar 2021   % Change
           
Connecticut $629,528,244   $436,883,569   -30.6%
Maine $399,665,304   $1,335,723,456   234.2%
Massachusetts $2,071,213,365   $1,425,066,119   -31.2%
New Hampshire $145,198,997   $108,283,264   -25.4%
Rhode Island $188,252,027   $409,762,193   117.7%
Vermont $161,364,224   $74,220,138   -54.0%
Total New England $3,595,222,161   $3,789,938,739   5.4%
New Jersey $2,102,968,230   $982,893,433   -53.3%
New York $5,693,435,497   $3,640,503,569   -36.1%
Pennsylvania $2,661,259,350   $2,485,456,139   -6.6%
Total Middle Atlantic $10,457,663,077   $7,108,853,141   -32.0%
TOTAL NORTHEAST $14,052,885,238   $10,898,791,880   -22.4%
Illinois $2,906,111,475   $2,571,915,181   -11.5%
Indiana $2,107,415,472   $1,529,848,681   -27.4%
Michigan $1,707,025,085   $1,830,456,583   7.2%
Ohio $2,762,405,458   $4,126,854,473   49.4%
Wisconsin $1,842,499,682   $1,335,249,151   -27.5%
Total East North Central $11,325,457,172   $11,394,324,069   0.6%
Iowa $1,226,004,300   $868,347,632   -29.2%
Kansas $1,172,318,262   $702,916,927   -40.0%
Minnesota $1,706,886,421   $3,353,798,791   96.5%
Missouri $2,328,512,441   $1,782,954,148   -23.4%
Nebraska $1,796,701,077   $590,755,710   -67.1%
North Dakota $232,362,467   $461,345,385   98.5%
South Dakota $267,536,848   $399,790,357   49.4%
Total West North Central $8,730,321,816   $8,159,908,950   -6.5%
TOTAL MIDWEST $20,055,778,988   $19,554,233,019   -2.5%
Delaware $590,030,316   $314,577,650   -46.7%
District of Columbia $237,059,291   $247,192,092   4.3%
Florida $6,469,243,646   $4,816,921,643   -25.5%
Georgia $3,718,363,570   $3,388,558,746   -8.9%
Maryland $2,139,583,169   $625,138,208   -70.8%
North Carolina $2,410,697,079   $2,389,468,122   -0.9%
South Carolina $1,367,602,877   $1,547,145,327   13.1%
Virginia $3,616,205,989   $2,283,192,217   -36.9%
West Virginia $508,936,275   $225,997,094   -55.6%
Total South Atlantic $21,057,722,212   $15,838,191,099   -24.8%
Alabama $1,643,613,092   $1,285,017,182   -21.8%
Kentucky $856,646,660   $743,707,704   -13.2%
Mississippi $957,383,069   $353,176,950   -63.1%
Tennessee $2,660,624,948   $3,636,358,370   36.7%
Total East South Central $6,118,267,769   $6,018,260,206   -1.6%
Arkansas $1,525,235,848   $480,356,775   -68.5%
Louisiana $1,427,752,136   $1,031,364,788   -27.8%
Oklahoma $1,024,423,396   $920,225,846   -10.2%
Texas $10,631,078,217   $10,416,889,209   -2.0%
Total West South Central $14,608,489,597   $12,848,836,618   -12.0%
TOTAL SOUTH $41,784,479,578   $34,705,287,923   -16.9%
Arizona $3,757,713,647   $1,045,093,014   -72.2%
Colorado $2,140,035,603   $1,352,366,466   -36.8%
Idaho $383,127,515   $167,174,394   -56.4%
Montana $322,025,956   $178,331,276   -44.6%
Nevada $1,108,992,354   $663,675,317   -40.2%
New Mexico $394,986,172   $557,631,896   41.2%
Utah $2,751,228,987   $862,272,742   -68.7%
Wyoming $256,831,848   $192,489,697   -25.1%
Total Mountain $11,114,942,082   $5,019,034,802   -54.8%
Alaska $230,451,444   $168,353,939   -26.9%
California $10,424,479,133   $7,997,893,211   -23.3%
Hawaii $220,884,657   $414,982,369   87.9%
Oregon $771,258,332   $793,173,917   2.8%
Washington $2,780,487,186   $1,588,773,234   -42.9%
Total Pacific $14,427,560,752   $10,963,176,670   -24.0%
TOTAL WEST $25,542,502,834   $15,982,211,472   -37.4%
TOTAL U.S. $101,435,646,638   $81,140,524,294   -20.0%

*Figures above are comprised of nonres building and engineering (i.e., residential is omitted).

Data Source and Table: ConstructConnect.


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