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Construction Starts Surge from
September to October


Excluding residential work, construction starts in October posted a solid 15.1 percent increase month-over-month, according to ConstructConnect, led by a sizable gain in the institutional category. Starts are also up 11.0 percent year-over-year.

Construction starts surged in October by more than 15 percent to $29.5 billion, at a time of the year when it typically drops an average of 4.0 percent because of seasonality, ConstructConnect reports.

The month-to-month tendency, due to seasonality (i.e., weather patterns) during each calendar year is usually positive from March through July, then negative from August through February.

Excluding residential work, starts are up 15.1 percent in October month-over-month. Moreover, starts have risen 11.0 percent year-over-year, and year-to-date starts in 2016 versus the same January through October time frame of 2015 are up 8.8 percent. ConstructConnect notes that these starts figures are not seasonally adjusted (NSA) nor altered for inflation. They are expressed in "current" as opposed to "constant" dollars.

The 15.1 percent month-over-month increase in total nonresidential starts in October resulted from a big gain in the institutional category (+31.5 percent), and a decent hike in heavy engineering/civil work (+11.3 percent). Industrial contributed a large percentage (+43.6 percent), but its overall volume was small, ConstructConnect reports. Commercial work was flat (zero percent).

October's 11.0 percent year-over-year rise is due to a skyrocketing industrial category (+477.2 percent), plus a good increase in institutional (+31.1 percent) and a respectable hike in engineering (+10.7 percent). Commercial starts, though, dropped 15.3 percent.

Year-to-date starts in 2016 have gone up 8.8 percent because of the institutional sector (+15.7 percent), followed by commercial (+11.3 percent) and heavy engineering/civil (+3.0 percent). However, industrial fell (-32.8 percent).

Jobs in the U.S. construction sector rose by 11,000 in October, according to the latest Employment Situation Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). ConstructConnect said construction has added an average of 8,000 jobs per month this year, while it gained an average of 18,000 jobs during the first 10 months of 2015.

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July 17, 2019, 8:22 pm PDT

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