If it seems that certain areas of the United States are benefiting more than others from the country's current construction boom, it's because they are, according to a new report from research firm GlobalData.
In fact, of the more than 11,200 U.S. projects the company is tracking — public and private, in development and under construction — 10 states have captured about 60% of the $3.7 trillion those projects represent.
By far, California has the largest share of the pie, with the most projects in number — 1,302 — and value — $524.6 billion. California also has more megaprojects than any other state, with the top 10 worth $139.5 billion.
There is one caveat, however. Included in California's total project value, and No. 1 on the list of its megaprojects, is the $79 billion California High-Speed Rail Authority's bullet train project, most of which was put on ice earlier this year by California Gov. Gavin Newsom because of cost overruns and schedule delays. As it currently stands, only a $20 billion, 119-mile segment between Merced and Bakersfield is moving forward.
But even when deducting the inactive portion of the bullet train from the value of work in the pipeline in California, it would still be the leader with $465 billion worth of projects.
Texas has the most energy and utility projects at almost $153 billion and those sectors have driven the state's construction pipeline to more than $425 billion, an amount which also includes mixed-used developments (roughly $68 billion) and infrastructure projects (around $67 billion). These two states are followed by New York, which has $409 billion worth of construction projects in the works, then Florida, Washington and Illinois. The full list is as follows:
- New York
- North Carolina
The report is a reminder of exactly how robust the U.S. construction industry is, even as it faces challenges like a persistent shortage of skilled labor and rising material costs. In fact, according to GlobalData, the approximately $1.4 trillion spent on U.S. construction every year makes the industry one of the world's largest. Domestically, the construction sector contributes more than 4% to annual GDP and provides jobs for more than 5% of the country's workforce.
It is likely this strength that has given contractors the confidence to predict positive things for their businesses in the next year. In its second-quarter Commercial Construction Index (CCI), USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported that contractors responding to their survey were predicting they would be able to secure even more work in the next 12 months. The Associated Builders and Contractors trade group backed up that sentiment, reporting that contractor confidence was holding steady as of April, even though work backlogs had decreased slightly.