Construction News Tracker is presented by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com.
The value of all U.S. construction put in place in December rose 7/10ths of a percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of $1.25 trillion, adding a fifth consecutive month of gains. Momentum since August is icing on 2017's cake, as the Census department's full year numbers show the value of construction put in place growing 3.8% above the 2016 level. More than 10% residential growth carried a slight decline in nonresidential construction spending. Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basau expects tax reform will add to construction growth in 2018, but says with real progress on federal infrastructure spending the construction recovery will likely transition from solid to spectacular.
Construction added 36,000 jobs to the January payroll while overall the picture continued bright as the number of total jobs created topped 200,000 — above the expected 160,000 from economists. The January unemployment rate remains at 4.1%.
For all of 2017, the jobs picture was more positive with 2.17 million created revised from a previous estimate of 2.06 million. More so, the Labor Department reports that wages and salaries rose 2.8% in the final three months of 2017 compared with a year earlier — the fastest growth since the recession.
The 43rd edition of World of Concrete is going in the books as another rousing success. 58,222 construction pros attended the event in Las Vegas that attracted over 1,500 exhibitors across 747,000 square feet of space. ForConstructonPros Editor Larry Stewart was among those attending and offers up his perspective on the exhibition.
Finally, always try to do things in chronological order. It's less confusing that way.
This is Construction News Tracker looking over the industry that makes the world a better place, presented by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com.