Not counting residential projects, the volume of construction starts nationally took a significant hit last month, dropping from $51.6 billion in August to $34.7 billion last month.
According to the Cincinnati-based software service Construct Connect, the biggest reason for the drop is a decline in what are described as “mega-project” start-ups.
“Whereas August featured 5 projects of a billion dollars or more each, totaling $18.7 billion,” reports the site, “September had only two such undertakings, combining for $2.3 billion.”
The report also indicated that construction starts in September were down by 1.8 percent compared to September of 2018, but comparing this September’s numbers with an average of the last five Septembers going back to 2014 actually showed a 2.2 percent increase.
Industries seeing the greatest drop in construction starts volume include hotels and motels, retail, laboratories, and amusement projects.
Construction starts were up in the private office and parking garage segments.
Construct Connect additionally notes an addition of around 7,000 new construction jobs in September, which, while still on the plus side, was noticeably lower than the more than 26,000 new jobs recorded in September 2018.
At the same time, the national construction industry’s unemployment in September stood at a historically low 3.2 percent. That figure was also reached this past May, says the report, adding that it comprises the “lowest figure for construction’s unemployment rate this century.”
By Garry Boulard