June Architecture Firm Billings Stay Positive

Architecture firm billings slowed in June but remained positive for the ninth consecutive month, according to a new report from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AlA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for June was 51.3 compared to 52.8 in May, which is positive since any score over 50 represents billings growth. As a result, June‘s ABI shows that demand for architecture firm services continues to improve across all sectors.

“Architects continue to see increases in demand for their services this summer, with new project work coming in at a healthy pace,” says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “However, business conditions are beginning to vary across the country. While essentially remaining flat in the Northeast and Midwest, billings jumped in the South while dropping in the West.”

Glazing-Related Employment Remains on the Up

Nonresidential specialty trade contractors, which include glaziers and ironworkers, increased employment by 4.3 percent from June 2017 to June 2018, according to Key Media & Research (KMR) analysis of BLS data. That category saw a O.1-percent uptick from May to June.

Overall construction employment was up 4.1 percent during the past 12 months. and average hourly earnings in the industry are up 2.9 per- cent from the same time last year.

June Construction Starts Jump 11 Percent

New construction starts in June climbed 11 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $896.3 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The increase marked the second double-digit gain in a row, following the 15peroent hike that was reported for May. Boosting activity in June was a sharp 57-percent advance for nonresidential building. which benefited from the start of two massive manufacturing plant projects and two massive office building projects. Residential building in June grew 4 percent, helped by growth for multifamily housing.

The nonbuilding construction sec- tor retreated 28 percent in June, pulling back after the sharp 37-percent increase reported in May.

Through the first six months of 2018. total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $395.7 billion, up 1 percent from the same period a year ago. If the electric utility/gas plant category, total construction starts during the first six months of 2018 would be up 3 percent relative to last year.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.