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Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect
Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect
Alex Carrick is Chief Economist for ConstructConnect. He is a frequent contributor to the Daily Commercial News and the Journal of Commerce. He has delivered presentations throughout North America on the Canadian, United States and world construction outlooks. A trusted and often-quoted source for … More »

A Slow Beginning for 2019 Construction Starts

 
February 13th, 2019 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect
Article source: ConstructConnect

ConstructConnect announced today that January’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $27.8 billion, a change of -6.7% compared with December 2018’s level of $29.7 billion. The latest month-to-month adjustment was in close alignment with the usual shift in starts volumes between December and January, due to seasonality, of -8.5%.

A Slow Beginning for 2019 Construction Starts Graphic

Nonresidential starts in January 2019 relative to the previous five-year average for January, i.e., from 2014 through 2018, were -4.5%. January 2019 compared with January 2018 was -20.6%. At $35.0 billion, January 2018 managed an abnormally high volume of starts activity.

The starts figures throughout this report are not seasonally adjusted (NSA). Nor are they altered for inflation. They are expressed in what are termed ‘current’ as opposed to ‘constant’ dollars.

‘Nonresidential building’ plus ‘engineering/civil’ work accounts for a larger share of total construction than residential activity. The former’s combined proportion of total put-in-place construction in the Census Bureau’s latest report, for November, was 59%; the latter’s was 41%.

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Top 25 U.S. Cities for Medical Facility Construction Starts

 
February 12th, 2019 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

There are 51 metropolitan statistical areas (CMAs) in the United States with population levels above one million each. Drawing from ConstructConnect’s data pool for those 51 cities, Table 1 ranks the Top 25 markets in America for medical facility construction starts in 2018. (Map 1 showcases the Top 20.)

Leading all cities last year was Washington, D.C., with groundbreakings on hospitals, clinics, nursing and seniors’ homes combined valued at $1.3 billion. Next in line were Cleveland ($1.1 billion), Phoenix ($883 million), Cincinnati ($858 million), Pittsburgh ($740 million), Atlanta and Orlando (tied at $736 million), Tampa-St. Petersburg ($718 million); and Houston ($708 million).

Notice the presence of a pair of cities in Ohio – i.e., Cleveland and Cincinnati – only a rung or two short of the summit in the dollar-volume listing.

Read the rest of Top 25 U.S. Cities for Medical Facility Construction Starts

Top 25 U.S. Cities for School Construction Starts

 
February 6th, 2019 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

There are 51 metropolitan statistical areas (CMAs) in the United States with population levels above one million. Drawing from ConstructConnect’s data pool for those 51 cities, Table 1 ranks the Top 25 markets in America for educational facility construction starts last year. (Map 1 showcases the Top 20.)

Educational Facility Construction Starts
Top 25 Markets among Biggest U.S. Cities*
2018
Rank by
2018 2017 2018 % Change
$ Value City / MSA                    ($billions) 2018/2017
1 New York, NY-NJ $3.290 $3.367 2.3%
2 Dallas-Ft Worth, TX $2.355 $3.100 31.7%
3 Los Angeles, CA $2.416 $2.626 8.7%
4 Houston, TX $2.778 $2.592 -6.7%
5 Seattle-Tacoma, WA $1.970 $1.560 -20.8%
6 Chicago, IL $1.188 $1.219 2.6%
7 Boston, MA $2.023 $1.217 -39.8%
8 San Francisco – Oakland, CA $1.014 $1.145 13.0%
9 Portland, OR-WA $0.370 $1.117 201.8%
10 Philadelphia, PA $0.790 $1.090 38.0%
11 Atlanta, GA $0.807 $0.991 22.8%
12 Washington, DC – VA  – MD – WV $1.279 $0.966 -24.5%
13 San Diego, CA $0.543 $0.907 67.2%
14 Baltimore, MD $0.917 $0.866 -5.6%
15 Sacramento, CA $0.291 $0.852 193.0%
16 Austin, TX $0.961 $0.762 -20.7%
17 San Antonio, TX $1.142 $0.735 -35.6%
18 Las Vegas, NV $0.286 $0.654 128.7%
19 Orlando, FL $0.640 $0.613 -4.1%
20 Salt Lake City, UT $0.660 $0.609 -7.7%
21 Cleveland, OH $0.369 $0.586 59.0%
22 Raleigh, NC $0.372 $0.574 54.3%
23 Denver, CO $0.422 $0.573 35.8%
24 Minneapolis – St Paul, MN – WI $0.843 $0.561 -33.4%
25 Providence, RI-MA $0.306 $0.551 80.1%
*There are 51 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the U.S. with populations exceeding onemillion.
Data source and table: ConstructConnect ‘Insight’.

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Infographic: Canada’s Fast Population Growth

 
February 1st, 2019 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Due to its complexity, much of the subject matter concerning the economy requires detailed editorial commentary, often supported by relevant tables and graphs. This infographic looks at Canada’s extraordinarily fast population growth and the latest statistics.

Infographic: Canada's latest population statistics

At the same time, though, there are many topics (e.g., relating to demographics, housing starts, etc.) that cry out for compelling ‘short-hand’ visualizations.

Whichever path is followed, the point of the journey, almost always, is to reach a bottom line or two.

To provide additional value at its corporate blog site, ConstructConnect is now pleased to offer an ongoing series of Infographics.

These will help readers sort out the ‘big picture’ more clearly.

Click Here to view the latest infographic.

To view more infographics, Click Here

Also read the related article, “15 Bullet Points on Canada’s Extraordinarily Fast Population Growth“.

15 Bullet Points on Canada’s Extraordinarily Fast Population Growth

 
January 28th, 2019 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

Statistics Canada’s latest national and provincial/territorial population estimates are for October 1, 2019. The two tables included with this article and the 15 bullet points below throw a spotlight on many of Canada’s most recent demographic highlights.

Canada’s Extraordinarily Fast Population Growth Graphic
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Ramifications of U.S. Shutdown Ripple outwards to China and Canada

 
January 25th, 2019 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

U.S. Census Bureau workers are off the job due to Washington’s partial funding shutdown. As a result, current statistics on housing starts, retail purchases and foreign trade are not available.

This is no minor matter. It will be difficult to accurately calculate national output – i.e., the important gross domestic product (GDP) measure – without reliable data on many of its key components. GDP growth, or lack thereof, is one key determinant of Federal Reserve interest rate moves. The Fed will struggle over whether to be ‘hawkish’, ‘dovish’, or stick with neutral.

Furthermore, the ramifications of economic data omissions are not solely limited to the U.S.

The U.S. and China are engaged in a trade skirmish, with tariffs on Chinese goods entering the U.S. slated to increase to 25% from 10% at the end of March, if there is no resolution. The U.S. has been running a huge trade deficit with China for years. In many months, it has been in a range of 40% to 50% of the total U.S. merchandise trade shortfall with all nations.
Read the rest of Ramifications of U.S. Shutdown Ripple outwards to China and Canada

Series (5 of 7): Rankings of States by Industrial Subsector Jobs – Computer Systems Design

 
January 24th, 2019 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect
Article source: ConstructConnect
Construction spending in various type-of structure categories is driven by economic circumstances within specific industrial subsectors. For example, manufacturers set the pace in industrial construction.

Good health in the leisure and hospitality sector provides the backing for new hotel and motel work. And jobs levels in information and financial services, as well as in more rapidly expanding fields of endeavor such as computer systems and design services, establish the need for additional office space and commercial tower square footage. (See, “Shifts in Office Jobs and Implications for Commercial Tower Construction.”)

This article is the fifth in a series of seven that examines key industrial sectors to determine where they are most prominent regionally. Rankings of state strength in each industrial subsector are based on both ‘weight’ and ‘concentration’ of relevant employment. ‘Weight’ is simply the number of jobs in the industrial subsector in each state. ‘Concentration’ is each state’s number of jobs in the subsector divided by the state’s population. In effect, it’s a ‘per capita’ figure, except that it’s expressed as number of jobs per million population.

By ‘weight,’ the states with the largest populations are almost always high in the rankings. The rankings by ‘concentration,’ however, often deliver a jolt of surprise or two.

Read the rest of Series (5 of 7): Rankings of States by Industrial Subsector Jobs – Computer Systems Design

Series (4 of 7): Rankings of States by Industrial Subsector Jobs – Leisure and Hospitality

 
January 22nd, 2019 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect
Article source: ConstructConnect

Construction spending in various type-of structure categories is driven by economic circumstances within specific industrial subsectors. For example, manufacturers set the pace in industrial construction.

Rankings of States by Industrial Sub-Sector Jobs – ‘Weight’ and ‘Concentration’ Maps for Leisure and Hospitality Graphic

Good health in the leisure and hospitality sector provides the backing for new hotel and motel work. And jobs levels in information and financial services, as well as in more rapidly expanding fields of endeavor such as computer systems and design services, establish the need for additional office space and commercial tower square footage. (See, “Shifts in Office Jobs and Implications for Commercial Tower Construction“.) This article is the fourth in a series of seven that examines key industrial sectors to determine where they are most prominent regionally. Rankings of state strength in each industrial subsector are based on both ‘weight’ and ‘concentration’ of relevant employment. ‘Weight’ is simply the number of jobs in the industrial subsector in each state. ‘Concentration’ is each state’s number of jobs in the subsector divided by the state’s population. In effect, it’s a ‘per capita’ figure, except that it’s expressed as number of jobs per million population. By ‘weight,’ the states with the largest populations are almost always high in the rankings. The rankings by ‘concentration,’ however, often deliver a jolt of surprise or two.

State Tiers: It’s important to know that three clear groupings of states emerge from an analysis of the Census Bureau’s latest (i.e., through July 1, 2018) population statistics. Those groupings are: (A) the four frontrunner states by nominal levels of population – California, Texas, Florida, and New York; (B) the three states with the fastest year-over-year gains in population – Nevada, Idaho, and Utah; and (C) another tier of six states with both strong nominal increases and percentage changes in resident counts over the past several years – Washington, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Colorado, and South Carolina. (See, “Latest State Population Statistics, Maps, & Tables – Six Dark Horse Winners.”)

Also read, “Series (1 of 7): Rankings of States by Industrial Subsector Jobs – Manufacturing,” “Series (2 of 7): Rankings of States by Industrial Subsector Jobs – Financial Services,” and “Series (3 of 7): Rankings of States by Industrial Subsector Jobs – Information Services.”

Read the rest of Series (4 of 7): Rankings of States by Industrial Subsector Jobs – Leisure and Hospitality

Series (3 of 7): Rankings of States by Industrial Subsector Jobs – Information Services

 
January 18th, 2019 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

Construction spending in various type-of structure categories is driven by economic circumstances within specific industrial subsectors. For example, manufacturers set the pace in industrial construction.

Rankings of States by Industrial Sub-Sector Jobs – ‘Weight’ and ‘Concentration’ Maps for Information Services Graphic

Good health in the leisure and hospitality sector provides the backing for new hotel and motel work. And jobs levels in information and financial services, as well as in more rapidly expanding fields of endeavor such as computer systems and design services, establish the need for additional office space and commercial tower square footage. (See, “Shifts in Office Jobs and Implications for Commercial Tower Construction.”)

This article is the second in a series of seven that examines key industrial sectors to determine where they are most prominent regionally. Rankings of state strength in each industrial subsector are based on both ‘weight’ and ‘concentration’ of relevant employment. ‘Weight’ is simply the number of jobs in the industrial subsector in each state. ‘Concentration’ is each state’s number of jobs in the subsector divided by the state’s population. In effect, it’s a ‘per capita’ figure, except that it’s expressed as number of jobs per million population.

By ‘weight’, the states with the largest populations are almost always high in the rankings. The rankings by ‘concentration’, however, often deliver a jolt of surprise or two.

Read the rest of Series (3 of 7): Rankings of States by Industrial Subsector Jobs – Information Services

Infographic: U.S. Large Project Starts – High-Tech Data Centers and Hotels

 
January 17th, 2019 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

Due to its complexity, much of the subject matter concerning the economy requires detailed editorial commentary, often supported by relevant tables and graphs. This infographic looks at U.S. large project starts in high-tech data and fulfillment centers and hotels and conference centers.

Infographic: U.S. large project starts - high-tech data and hotels

At the same time, though, there are many topics (e.g., relating to demographics, housing starts, etc.) that cry out for compelling ‘short-hand’ visualizations.

Whichever path is followed, the point of the journey, almost always, is to reach a bottom line or two.

To provide additional value at its corporate blog site, ConstructConnect is now pleased to offer an ongoing series of Infographics.

These will help readers sort out the ‘big picture’ more clearly.

To view the latest infographic.


Also read the related article, “U.S. 2018 Large Project Starts by Type of Structure“.

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