Construction Insider is a weekly roundup of the latest news and insights in construction.
Private Nonresidential Construction Spending hikes by 11%
Marcum’s National Construction Services group reported a nearly 11% increase in private nonresidential construction spending over a 12-month period. Marcum Newsletter
- First quarter reports from the Marcum group state the highest ever spending recorded for the private nonresidential sector. Construction spending in this specific sector has soared to $460 billion in March, a 2.1% gain from the previous year.
- “With lengthy backlogs in hand and given the ongoing momentum apparent in the U.S. economy, contractors have little reason for concern regarding near-term demand for construction services,” wrote Marcum chief construction economist Anirban Basu.
- Public construction spending also increased by 9%, with the highway and street category reaching a 13.4% increase making it the largest subsector in nonresidential construction.
National increase in construction jobs led by Southwest states
Nevada and Arizona are among the top states that have been adding new construction jobs as the Southwest continues to recover from the economic downturn that plagued the nation in 2008-2011. ENR Southwest
- Arizona ranks third in terms of number of construction jobs added between April 2018 to April 2019, according to the analysis reported by the Associated General Contractors of America. Arizona has opened 19,800 construction jobs in that period.
- Nevada meanwhile ranks at number 2 in terms of percentage increase, as it achieved a 14.2% increase in number of construction jobs added in the same study time frame. Arizon ranks third with 12.7% while the top spot goes to West Virginia with 33.7%.
- Records say that construction employment is expected to increase as “contractors would add even more workers if they could,” according to Associated General Contractors of America chief economist Ken Simonson.
Construction of Trump’s border wall blocked
Building certain sections of the US-Mexico border wall, one of the Trump administration’s top priority projects, has recently been blocked by a federal judge ruling. Military Times
- Construction of the 46-mile wall in New Mexico and the 5-mile border in Yuma, Arizona has been stopped from commencing by U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. Trump responded by requesting for an expedited appeal of the ruling.
- “Congress’s ‘absolute’ control over federal expenditures…is not a bug in our constitutional system,” Gilliam writes in his opinion, also stating that the President is dismissing the Congress by using the Defense Department money to fund the wall project.
- Gilliam however has also rejected the request by California and other states to stop funding the border wall construction using millions of dollars in Treasury asset forfeiture funds. He states that the case is unlikely to succeed as its arguments are based on the administration’s dismissal of environmental impact reviews.