Construction Spending Extends Year-to-Date Gains in August in Most Public and Private Segments Even as Contractors Struggle to Find Craft Workers

October 1, 2018

Construction spending increased 0.1 percent from July to August and 5.3 percent for eight months of 2018 combined, with continued year-to-date gains for major public and private categories, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said that these spending figures showed strong demand in construction across the country but that growth in the construction industry still depends on contractors’ ability to find sufficient qualified workers, urging public officials to step up support for career and technical education and to allow employment-based immigration.

“Nearly all categories of construction spending continued to expand through August,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Furthermore, growth is well-balanced among public, private nonresidential and residential projects. But contractors are increasingly worried about a shortage of skilled workers.”

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