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U.S. Industry Snapshot - Mega Projects Lift May U.S. Nonresidential Construction Starts by One-third

Alex Carrick
U.S. Industry Snapshot - Mega Projects Lift May U.S. Nonresidential Construction Starts by One-third

A Wealth of Mega Projects

In its latest U.S. Industry Snapshot, ConstructConnect announced today that the latest month’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $52.2 billion. The month-to-month percentage change versus April was +35.2%, or more than one-third. The large jump resulted from start-ups on five mega projects (see Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. – May 2019) valued at more than $1 billion each. The combined value of the five mega project initiations in May of this year was $18.6 billion.

Construction Starts Settled into More Normal Pattern in April, +3% M/M Graphic

Click here to read the complete May 2019 Industry Snapshot article, Mega Projects Lift May U.S. Nonresidential Construction Starts by One-third – below is a short excerpt.

The latest month of 2019 included one $10 billion project, an LNG export terminal to be built for Golden Pass Products at Sabine Pass, near Port Arthur, Texas. May of last year, however, also included a $10 billion project, a new plant for Foxconn Technology in Racine Wisconsin. Therefore, due to an offsetting effect, May 2019’s total nonresidential dollar volume wasn’t much greater than in May 2018. Rather, it was -5.9%. Year-to-date starts in 2019 have been -10.6% compared with the same January-to-May period of 2018.

View this information as an infographic

Construction Overview

The number of jobs in the U.S. construction sector rose by only +4,000 in May, according to the latest Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Monthly average ‘on site’ hiring through the first five months of this year, at +16,000, has been less than half (-52.9%) of what was maintained through the same January-to-May time frame last year, +35,000.

On a year-over-year basis, construction is still in top spot for jobs growth (+3.0%) among all major industrial sectors. Bunched closely behind construction are ‘transportation and warehousing’ (+2.7%), ‘leisure and hospitality’, (+2.6%) and ‘education and health’, (+2.5%). The latest year-over-year jobs growth in construction (+3.0%) has been twice as fast as in manufacturing (+1.5%) and nearly double the pace of increase recorded by ‘all jobs’ (+1.6%).

Construction’s NSA unemployment rate in May, at 3.2%, was the lowest it’s been this century.  Furthermore, it was below the latest national unemployment rate, which was just 3.4% NSA.

Year-over-year employment changes in other corners of the economy important to construction in May were: ‘machinery and equipment rental’, +11.1%; ‘oil and gas extraction’, +7.5%; ‘architectural and engineering services’, +3.3%; ‘real estate firms’, +3.1%; ‘building material and supplies dealers’, -1.0%; and ‘cement and concrete product manufacturing’, -1.5%.

Click here to download the Construction Industry Snapshot Package – May 2019 PDF.

Click here for the Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. – May 2019.

Click here for the Nonresidential Construction Starts Trend Graphs – May 2019.

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