Construction team putting 2019 in place with sunrise as backdrop

iHireConstruction’s 2019 Construction Industry Outlook

Growth in the construction industry has begun to taper off according to the latest report from Dodge Data and Analytics. The well-known provider of construction industry data/analytics released their 2019 economic forecast for the construction industry on October 25th, which predicts extremely modest growth across the board including single-family housing, commercial buildings, institutional facilities, and public works projects.

Total US construction starts for 2019 is projected to be $808 billion, staying nearly level with the $807 billion estimated for 2018. Although this still technically qualifies as growth, it continues a trend of deceleration over the past few years and a less-promising construction industry outlook.

“After advancing 11% to 14% each year from 2012 through 2015, total construction starts climbed 7% in both 2016 and 2017, and a 3% increase is estimated for 2018,” said Robert A. Murray, Dodge Data and Analytics’ chief economist. “An important question going into 2019 is whether deceleration is followed by a period of high-level stability or a period of decline.”

Although the expansion that the construction industry experienced the past few years appears to have slowed, this doesn’t appear to have impacted construction job seekers. In fact there’s been no shortage of open construction jobs in 2018, with iHireConstruction consistently adding between 86,000 and 170,000 job postings each month.


Chart showing new construction jobs added by iHireConstruction each month


Skilled trades such as electricians, carpenters, and plumbers were in high demand for the second half of 2018, but construction/project managers and engineers have also been heavily sought after by employers. These hiring trends should continue into 2019.


Chart showing popular construction job titles on iHireConstruction

Chart showing data on selected construction job titles


Digging a bit deeper into Dodge Data and Analytics forecast and construction industry data, we can see some building sectors performing better than others, but even the areas with the most optimistic predictions are only slated to grow by 4% at most:

  • Single-family housing is forecast to stay the same from a dollar standpoint. However, there will be a 3% drop in housing starts due to higher mortgage rates, reduced affordability, and fewer tax advantages attributed to home ownership following 2018 tax reform.
  • Multifamily housing will fall 6% in dollars and 8% in units to 465,000 – largely impacted by changes in occupancy rates and rent growth.
  • After expanding 2% in 2017 and 2018, commercial construction will take a step back in 2019. A 3% decrease is anticipated due to increased vacancy rates and weakening hotel and store construction rates.
  • Manufacturing plant construction is expected to rise 2%, institutional building will increase 3%, and public works construction will grow 4%. Cuts to the corporate tax rate will incentivize companies to build new production facilities while funding from local, state, and federal governments will spur institutional and public works projects.


If you’re hiring for your next big project or looking for work in any of the sectors listed above, go to iHireConstruction to post your current job openings or find the opportunity that’s right for you!


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By Freddie Rohner, iHire | December 17, 2018
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