Job growth slows, but construction still bests other areas

August 11, 2010

An estimated 6.74 million Americans were employed by the construction industry in December - only 1 percent more than during the final month of 2000.

But although the total number of jobs in the nation's construction sector increased by only 7,000 between the final two months of 2001, and by a modest 66,000 over the past year, the industry's labor market remains much healthier than that of most of the other sectors of the economy.

Construction's mild annual job gain was in sharp contrast to the 7.2 percent loss of jobs recorded by the nation's manufacturing sector. Yet, far fewer new construction jobs were created during 2001 than in previous years. Annual expansion had averaged about 5 percent over the previous six years.

Specifically, December employment figures for general building contractors were about 1.55 million, a gain of 0.7 percent from 2000.

Specialty trade contracting firms in-creased their payrolls by 0.5 percent, or about 22,000 jobs over the same period. All told, total 2001 employment in the nonbuilding side of construction escalated by 3.9 percent, or an estimated 33,500 jobs.

 

Construction employment grows (Percentage change in employment December 2000 to December 2001)

Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Total U.S. employment -0.8%
General building contractors 0.7
Specialty contractors 0.5
Heavy (nonbuilding) 3.9
Manufacturing -7.2

 

Cost comparisons per square foot in select metro markets

Jail Courthouse 2-3 stories Police station Post office
'02 '01 % chg. '02 '01 % chg. '02 '01 % chg. '02 '01 % chg.
Atlanta 161.95 158.42 2.2 119.75 116.77 2.6 126.83 122.33 3.7 77.50 75.33 2.9
Baltimore 165.39 163.40 1.2 122.29 120.43 1.5 129.52 126.18 2.6 79.15 77.70 1.9
Boston 207.86 204.47 1.7 153.70 150.71 2.0 162.78 157.90 3.1 99.48 97.23 2.3
Chicago 202.44 198.07 2.2 149.69 145.99 2.5 158.54 152.95 3.7 96.88 94.19 2.9
Cleveland 185.63 182.96 1.5 137.26 134.85 1.8 145.37 141.28 2.9 88.84 87.00 2.1
Dallas 154.00 151.13 1.9 113.87 112.00 1.7 120.60 116.71 3.3 73.70 71.87 2.5
Denver 172.25 169.27 1.8 127.37 124.76 2.1 134.90 130.71 3.2 82.43 80.49 2.4
Detroit 192.50 188.82 1.9 142.34 139.18 2.3 150.75 145.81 3.4 92.12 89.79 2.6
Houston 159.60 155.93 2.4 118.01 115.47 2.2 124.99 120.41 3.8 76.38 74.15 3.0
Kansas City 182.02 177.80 2.4 134.59 131.05 2.7 142.54 137.30 3.8 87.11 84.55 3.0
Los Angeles 195.75 192.91 1.5 144.74 142.19 1.8 153.30 148.97 2.9 93.68 91.74 2.1
Miami 153.82 153.09 0.5 113.74 112.83 0.8 120.46 118.22 1.9 73.61 72.80 1.1
Minneapolis 199.01 198.42 0.3 147.15 146.25 0.6 155.85 153.23 1.7 95.24 94.36 0.9
New Orleans 154.54 152.37 1.4 114.27 112.31 1.7 121.03 117.67 2.9 73.96 72.46 2.1
New York City 243.29 239.14 1.7 179.89 176.26 2.1 190.53 184.67 3.2 116.43 113.72 2.4
Philadelphia 200.99 198.07 1.5 148.62 145.99 1.8 157.40 152.95 2.9 96.19 94.19 2.1
Phoenix 161.59 158.78 1.8 119.48 117.03 2.1 126.55 122.61 3.2 77.33 75.50 2.4
Pittsburgh 183.82 180.29 2.0 135.92 132.88 2.3 143.96 139.22 3.4 87.97 85.73 2.6
Portland 191.23 189.71 0.8 141.40 139.83 1.1 149.76 146.50 2.2 91.52 90.21 1.4
St. Louis 186.17 183.49 1.5 137.66 135.24 1.8 145.80 141.69 2.9 89.10 87.26 2.1
San Diego 191.23 189.00 1.2 141.40 139.31 1.5 149.76 145.95 2.6 91.52 89.88 1.8
San Francisco 224.85 217.98 3.2 166.26 160.67 3.5 176.09 168.33 4.6 107.61 103.66 3.8
Seattle 190.51 185.62 2.6 140.87 136.82 3.0 149.19 143.34 4.1 91.17 88.27 3.3
Washington, D.C. 170.81 168.55 1.3 126.30 124.24 1.7 133.76 130.16 2.8 81.74 80.15 2.0
Winston/Salem 136.29 134.95 1.0 100.77 99.47 1.3 106.73 104.21 2.4 65.22 64.17 1.6
NOTE: Costs are for the basic building and do not include sitework, land, development, specialty finishes or equipment. Square foot costs vary significantly from project to project because of quality, complexity and economic climate. For a detailed list of building components included in these figures, see Means Square Foot Costs. R.S. Means Co., P.O. Box 800, Kingston, MA 02364, (781) 585-7880, (800) 448-8182 For more data, visit R.S. Means on the Web at www.rsmeans.com. To use an interactive tool that helps estimate costs, visit www.buildingteam.com.
         
 

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