Official Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed the construction industry added 58,000 jobs in February — the strongest recorded level since before the Great Recession in March 2007. Since February of 2016, construction employment has increased by 219,000 or 3.3 percent, to last month’s total of 6.881 million. Associated Builders and Contractors found the first two months of 2017 saw the same number of jobs created as the first nine months of 2016.
Construction Backlog Fell During Last Quarter of 2016
Construction backlog fell by 4 percent during the last quarter of 2016, according to the latest Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Contractors in each segment surveyed—commercial/institutional, infrastructure and heavy industrial—all saw lower backlog during the fourth quarter, with firms in the heavy industrial segment experiencing the largest drop, down 16.8 percent to an average backlog of 5.5 months. The CBI is a new, forward-looking national economic indicator that reflects the amount of work that will be performed by commercial and industrial contractors in the months ahead.
Construction Sector Leads Surge in Job Growth
Of the 298,000 private-sector payroll jobs added in February, construction accounted for the lion’s share, adding 66,000 jobs, according to the ADP National Employment Report generated by Moody’s Analytics. It was the sector’s largest gain since the ADP report began 15 years ago, reports Reuters, which attributed some of the gain on the unseasonably warm weather that may have kept crews on building sites.
Senate Subcommittee Tackles Funding POTUS $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
The Senate Appropriations subcommittee began exploring ways to finance President Trump’s promised $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The lawmakers said they will look at a mix of both public and private financing options, according to Construction Dive.