Construction spending was up in South Florida last month, according to a new report from Dodge Data & Analytics.
Construction starts were up 58 percent to $1.67 billion in June compared to the previous year thanks to a huge boost in commercial construction. Starts of commercial projects totaled $1.1 billion last month, up 157.4 percent year-over-year. Residential construction fell by 10 percent to $563 million.
Year-to-date, the figures are less dramatic. Overall, construction starts have totaled $5.67 billion, up 3 percent from $5.51 billion. Residential construction also posted a decline year-to-date, mirroring the slowdown in home and condo sales in South Florida. So far this year, residential construction starts fell 26 percent to $2.6 billion, down from $3.5 billion for the first half of last year.
In May, the decline in residential construction brought all construction spending down 5 percent to $669 million year-over-year and down 10 percent on a cumulative basis to nearly $4 billion.
The slowdown in condo development has affected the construction business in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. The region’s biggest general contractors, which include MCM, Coastal Construction Group and Moss & Associates, are shifting their business toward rental apartments, airport concourses, schools, offices, bridges and more.
The industry is also grappling with a shrinking and aging workforce. The construction labor force in the U.S. shrank in size to 10.4 million workers in 2015 from 10.6 million at the bottom of the market in 2010, according to a recent analysis of Census data.