The good news keeps coming.
In its Construction Outlook report, Dodge Data & Analytics says that following an estimated 5% increase to $564 billion for construction starts in 2014, the overall value of U.S. construction spending will rise 9% to $612 billion as financing for projects becomes easier to obtain, investors shift to real estate and more construction bond measures are passed. Specifically, the report predicts that commercial building will increase 15%, institutional building will advance 9%, single family housing will rise 15%, multifamily housing will increase 9% in dollars and public works construction will improve 5%. Forbes reports that Texas, New York City and Los Angeles are among the hottest construction markets.
New projects abound all across the United States. In San Francisco, developers are planning a $1 billion mixed-use development located at the former home of the San Francisco 49ers (Candlestick Park), consisting of a $200 million mall, housing units, a hotel and performance venue. Similar large mixed use projects are planned for Frisco, Texas ($2-$3 billion) Cool Springs, Tennessee ($700 million), Daytona Beach ($800 million), La Quinta, California ($420 million) and even Harlem ($164 million). In addition, new public projects are also underway including the $2.5 billion. All Aboard Florida passenger rail line project that will connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, and a proposed $983 million high-speed rail expansion linking Dallas and Houston.
In addition, office construction was up 18% in September 2014 from September 2013 according to the Wall Street Journal, translating to $37 billion of office building construction for the year. More good news is on the horizon with new projects such as the $4.45 billion office complex in Kansas City, Missouri, which will take 10 years to build with 4.7 million square feet of office space planned.
As reported in Building Design + Construction (November 19, 2014), construction unemployment has hit an 8-year low, dropping to 6.4% in October. In fact, construction employment in October, at 6,095,000, was the highest it’s been since May 2009, with 231,000 jobs added (a 3.9% gain) over the last 12 months. According to the AGC of America, 83% of construction firms are reporting difficulty in finding qualified workers to meet the booming construction market.
Somehow I have a feeling construction employers prefer to have this dilemma than the alternative.
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