Up trend continues for nonresidential construction

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Nonresidential construction employment eked out a modest gain in January, implying that the spending rise of 2007 will continue, said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America.

His comments followed the release of two January economic reports. The first came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and covered payroll employment. The second, a construction spending report, was issued by the U.S. Census Bureau.

January 2008 also saw a 3.5 percent jump for employment by architects and engineers, which indicated that nonresidential activity will remain positive.

Employment in the three nonresidential categories, including nonresidential building, specialty trades, as well as heavy and civil engineering edged up by 1,300 jobs for the month.

Simonson was commenting on two new economic releases – January payroll employment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and December construction spending from the Census Bureau.

Residential spending fell 20 percent for the year in December, though most specialty trades such as electricians, drywallers and plumbers, for example, have found employment in education, government and commercial construction.