Overall Bay State Construction Activity Stung By Lack Of Infrastructure Projects

Posted by jcashman

Courtesy of Associated Press

A new report from McGraw Hill this week shows non-building construction in Massachusetts dropped 87% in one year, underscoring again the clear need for infrastructure investment in the commonwealth. The study found overall spending on roads, bridges, tunnels and other projects has hit a new low of $84 million, down from nearly $630 million in December 2010. Meanwhile, unemployment in the building trades ranges from 35 to 50% — well above other industries.

Efforts to create an estimated 11,000 Massachusetts jobs through federal infrastructure investment have been stymied in Washington since last fall, when congressional Republicans — including US Senator Scott Brown — voted to filibuster both the American Jobs Act and Restore America Jobs Act.

Massachusetts’ overall year-over-year construction activity plummeted 38 percent in December, as non-building construction on road and infrastructure projects tailed off, according to New York-based data and research firm McGraw Hill Construction.

Non-building construction - including streets and highways, bridges, dams and reservoirs, river and harbor developments, sewage and water supply systems, missile and space facilities, airports, utilities and communication systems - tallied just $84.35 million in December. That represents an 87 percent drop from the $629.6 million figure for December 2010.

Statewide, non-residential construction - which McGraw Hill defines as work on commercial, manufacturing, educational, religious, administrative, recreational, hotel, dormitory and similar buildings - rose 14 percent last month compared to the same time last year, to roughly $424 million from $371.9 million.

Residential construction statewide in December fell three percent, to $318.2 million from $329.76 million during the same month in 2010.

For the year, overall construction activity as measured in dollar output was down 4 percent statewide, falling to roughly $9.32 billion from $9.72 billion in 2010. Residential and non-residential construction were both up last year compared to 2010 - by 2 percent and 11 percent, respectively - but overall figures were dragged down by a 35 percent decline in non-building construction activity, McGraw Hill said.

In the metropolitan statistical area of Boston-Cambridge-Quincy - which includes portions of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk counties in Massachusetts and Rockingham and Strafford counties in New Hampshire - residential and non-residential construction activity were up 15 percent and 13 percent, respectively, in 2011 compared to 2010.

Jason A Stephany

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Posted by jcashman on Jan 28 2012. Filed under Business, Featured - For home page featured article. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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