Both the construction and manufacturing industries were impacted by the polar vortex that gripped the U.S. this winter, but as weather conditions improve, both sectors have reported strong increases employment, production and demand in the spring. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has yet to release employment numbers from March, experts predict hiring in the construction field will continue to rise alongside the temperatures.
Construction in February remained steady
Although construction saw a decrease in demand in December and January, the numbers for February were higher than experts' predictions. Reuters reported that despite the fact that residential construction demand dipped slightly, nonresidential construction project spending rose by more than 1.2 percent, which was the highest level since December 2008. Specifically, federal government construction projects increased by 5.8 percent, while public building spending rose by 0.1 percent.
The Star Tribune reported that Minnesota saw gains in statewide construction spending. According to the source, companies in this industry indicated solid business through the months of February and March. Researchers that compiled Creighton University's Mid-America Business Conditions report, which tracks economic trends across all Midwestern states, found that employment increased throughout the last two months and should continue to rise as the year progresses.
Industry poised for growth throughout 2014
Growth in the construction industry is expected to improve across the U.S. The FMI Q1 Construction Outlook Report, which has proven to be an accurate forecast for the sector, predicted that the industry as a whole will grow by 8 percent in 2014. The findings indicated that commercial building may rise by 7 percent, which would be the highest increase since 2008. Lodging, transportation and health care are also expected to see improved numbers by 13 percent, 7 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Residential building is slated to rise by 27 percent, but will be a significant decrease from the 44 percent increase of 2013.
As a whole, more companies, organizations and private citizens will be seeking assistance for new projects, the report predicted. Because of this, the industry may increase its hiring to accommodate rising needs. However, the BLS employment situation report, which will be released April 9, will help experts to understand the current state of the industry and examine how it may move forward in the future.