There are a number of reports and outlets that help experts and executives keep their finger on the pulse of the construction industry. Curated by the Construction Dive staff, this page centralizes data from those resources and helps visualize it as a one-stop resource about construction industry spending, hiring, starts and billings. This construction industry data page is updated bimonthly.
While often revised in subsequent months, construction spending figures each month from the U.S. Commerce Department examine the private and public construction sectors. Within the private sector, the report tracks single-family residential, multifamily residential and nonresidential.
The labor shortage has consistently been a major challenge for construction companies. Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases job gains or losses in the industry and divides the figures into residential and nonresidential sectors.
Architecture Billings Index
The ABI, from the American Institute of Architects, serves as an indicator of future construction spending — with a lead time of about nine to 12 months — as design services lead to new commercial projects. Any mark above 50 on the ABI indicates an increase in billings.
Projects are growing more complex every year, driving the values of new construction up. Dodge Data & Analytics measures the seasonally adjusted value of total U.S. construction starts each month, as well as the value of starts in nonresidential, residential and nonbuilding categories.
Construction Confidence Index and backlog indicator
Associated Builders and Contractors assembles a monthly report of confidence in sales expectations, profit margin expectations and staffing expectations. A score above 50 indicates growth. Note: The reference months for the Construction Confidence Index data series were revised on May 12, 2020. All previously reported quarters and months shifted forward by one period to better reflect the timing of when the surveys were conducted.
The ABC backlog indicator is forward-looking economic metric that reflects the amount of work under contract that will be performed by commercial and industrial construction contractors in the months ahead.
Twice a year, Rider Levett Bucknall collects data on the number of cranes in North American cities. This can be an indicator of the health of the construction market, specifically for high rises and multi-family construction. Here, Construction Dive displays the change in the number of cranes counted in U.S. cities from RLB's reports.