|July 22, 2014|
Previously published on July 18, 2014
Reed Construction Data reports that the economy continues to improve but challenges remain. Based upon recent construction data from Reed Construction, the industry’s economy continues to improve even though it remains sluggish and somewhat uneven. Year-to-date, seasonally adjusted spending was almost 9% higher than a year ago, total residential construction was 18% higher and new residential construction at 17.7% higher. Private construction spending was 13% higher than this time last year, however, public spending was down 1.3%.
Despite the economy adding jobs each month, the unemployment rate for construction nationally still remained at 8.6% in May, well above both New England and the country’s unemployment figures. As many in the construction industry know, though, there continues to be a shortage of skilled construction workers for available projects.
Reed Construction forecasts that the economy will continue to strengthen modestly and at a likely faster pace during the rest of 2014 and 2015. It predicts somewhat optimistically that there will be increased federal funding for more infrastructure projects, although well short of what is needed to repair the country’s outdated infrastructure, something that Bernstein Shur’s Construction Group have reported on in the past given Maine’s poor scorecard for roads and bridges in Maine. Nevertheless, total construction spending is forecasted to increase 9.3% in 2014 and 11.2% in 2015 with nonresidential, heavy engineering construction, and residential construction leading the way.