As we reported on earlier this year, 2015 was a banner year for construction activity with office space under construction peaking at 92.8 million square feet. Little did we know that construction starts would continue their climb to an astonishing $28.5 billion. Read on in Building Design + Construction to see where the majority of construction is happening:
A typical change for construction starts between February and March is around +2.5%. This year, however, dwarfed that, as commercial construction starts climbed 18% from February to March to $28.5 billion, Construction Market Data reports. This is a significant spike even when compared to the typical March to April jump of 12%.
While the number of starts in March 2016 was not much different from March 2015 (+1.6 percent), the number of starts over the first three months of 2016 was 9.8% higher than the first quarter of 2015. The report also notes that February’s starts underwent an upward revision from $19.1 billion to 24.1 billion. The largest adjustments occurred in the structure categories of parking garages, private office buildings, and hospitals/clinics.
The construction sector added 37,000 jobs in March, which is the largest gain so far this year. The first three months of the year have seen an average gain of 25,000 jobs, or an increase of 7.1 percent compared to the 23,000 job-per-month average in Q1 2015. The year-over-year employment in construction for March was 4.7 percent, much faster than the pace for all jobs in the economy. March’s jobless rate for the construction sector was 8.7 percent, not great, but an improvement of March 2015’s 9.5 percent.
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