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  Where Are They Now?
A look at the construction industry
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By Joseph Rios

If you spend a few minutes driving toward downtown Denver, it’s hard to not notice a crane somewhere in the city. According to data from Rider Levett Bucknall, Denver has around 18 cranes as of July, marking an increase since the last time cranes were counted in the city. With spending on infrastructure like highways and a commuter rail, growth in non-residential sectors is expected to increase. But permitting of residential projects is beginning to drop, according to Rider Levett Bucknall.

After years of growth in Denver, the city’s construction market is starting to point to residential dwellings, according to a report from Cumming Insights, a market analysis.

The report continues saying the market for construction is still active, but employers have had difficulties finding skilled workers – making construction workers a highly sought out commodity. Denver’s growth was projected to slow down at the beginning of the year, but the report from Cumming Insights says it’s not time to panic if you’re a construction worker. Projects like highway improvements, bicycle paths and a growing tech industry lead to a positive combination for those who are seeking work in the construction agency.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are around 108,700 regional construction workers, as of 2018. Denver regional projects like the Northern Colorado Commuter Rail and the National Western Center are two projects whose prices are either at or above $1 billion. The Northern Colorado Commuter Rail will cost around $2 billion while the National Western Center project will cost around $1 billion.

Other projects like the CU Medical Campus and Denver International Airport’s terminal renovation project will also lead to opportunities for construction employment. Denver International Airport’s Great Hall project is expected to resume at the beginning of next year.

From a national perspective, economic factors like the domestic economy showing signs of slowing is leading to a halted process for U.S. construction growth, according to Cumming Insights. There are many reasons for this like a trade war between the country and China, Brexit, policy volatility in the country and tariff talks with Mexico.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s fourth quarterly report, construction lending will be on the decline for the first time in six years. Numerous banks have reported a smaller demand for construction and land development loans.

As far as construction labor on a national scale, it continues to be an issue, even though employment has continued to increase. Material pricing for construction projects has been growing, but slowly, and it is expected to slow down before this year is over.

For construction growth worldwide, it is expected to slow down. Factors again include a trade war between the U.S. and China, tensions in the Middle East, natural disasters in Japan and more.





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