OUR THOUGHTS ON:

Construction Spending Up Overall, But Decrease in Public Works Projects

Construction

By Matt McKinnon

On October 3, 2011, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC of America) issued a press release regarding an increase in construction spending between July and August 2011 versus the same period in 2010.
According to AGC of America’s analysis of new Census Bureau data, spending was 1.4 percent higher in August, as compared to July, and was 0.9 percent higher than August of last year. Public sector activity declines have been offset by continual increases in private sector work.

The Numbers

AGC of America’s analysis of the data yielded the following figures:

  • Total construction spending in August 2011 was $799.1 billion, up from $788.3 billion in July 2011 and $791.7 billion in August 2010.
  • Private sector jobs increased 0.4 percent to $511 billion in August 2011, up 5.6 percent compared to August 2010.
  • Public construction spending increased 3.1 percent to $279.4 billion in August, but continues to be down (6.3 percent) as compared to 2010.

Industry Specifics

While private sector construction projects are led by increases in power facilities jobs, lodging-related projects experienced the largest decline of any private construction sector. Within public works projects, health care construction grew handily, where the two largest public sectors—highway/street and educational projects—fell yet again.

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