- The value of May nonresidential construction increased 5% from April, rebounding from that month's 7.2% decrease but falling short of the typical 8% April-to-May uptick, according to ConstructConnect.
- The commercial category grew 8.1% month-to-month, while industrial increased 6.5% from April. The value of institutional starts was up 16.4%, but heavy engineering start values fell 4.5%.
- Year-over-year, the value of total nonresidential starts increased 2% from May 2016, and year-to-date values ran a close second at a rate of 1.9%.
Architecture and engineering employment, a leading indicator of future construction activity, increased 3.1% year-over-year in May, while overall construction employment was up 2.9% for the same period. The construction industry gained 11,000 positions in May, which was a welcome relief from near-stagnant growth in April but a downward departure from strong January and February additions of 34,000 and 54,000 jobs, respectively.
The 10 biggest project starts in May ranged from $200 million to $2.6 billion, with three projects above the $1 billion mark. The top five nonresidential projects by dollar value were the City of Champions/Rams Stadium — Inglewood, CA ($2.6 billion); Interstate 405 Improvement — Irvine, CA ($1.9 billion); University of Pennsylvania Hospital Pavilion — Philadelphia ($1.5 billion); Seaport Square — Boston ($800 million); and the iSquare Mall and Hotel — Orlando, FL ($400 million).
The last report from Dodge Data & Analytics indicated that the value of April construction starts fell 13% to $647.8 billion, a figure driven by a nonbuilding drop of 39%. Dodge also reported that total construction starts were up 3% from April 2016 to April 2017 but were down 4% year to date. On a positive note, the latest Dodge Momentum Index report saw an increase of 4% between April and May.