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U.S. construction trends and outlook | Q3 2017

Through the third quarter of 2017, the construction and development industry continues to hit a mature stage of economic expansion, but a few difficulties arose alongside the late stage cycle in which the industry currently sits.

Spending in and on the construction industry rose 1.9 percent compared to Q3 2016 levels while contractor and subcontractor work on the books was up 1.4 percent over the same period. Continued strength in the economy and commercial real estate as a whole paints a strong outlook for construction heading through 2018 and beyond.

Additionally, the national construction workforce had minimal meaningful employment growth over the last nine months – setting the stage for growing project timelines and faster wage growth heading in to 2018.

Looking ahead, hot button topics will center on the deepening labor struggle, a focus on productivity increases for contractors, financial interest rate stability for loans and increased reliance on public funding. Learn more in our Q3 2017 Construction Outlook.

Take a deeper dive into the following in our latest Construction Outlook:

  • State of the industry

    Construction grew by 1.9% over Q3 2016. We discuss why and what to expect.

  • Key industry indicators

    Explore the latest in construction spending, wage growth, contractor backlogs, and more.

  • Where does the U.S. economy stand?

    The U.S. economy grew by an annualized 3% in the third quarter. What’s next?

  • Construction technology

    Construction technologies stand to disrupt the industry. We dig into three promising tech tools.

  • Materials cost

    They grew by 0.7% in the third quarter. Learn which had the largest and smallest price changes

  • Construction labor

    Anyone in the construction industry needs to create a contingency plan for if and when the economy begins to slow. While the plan shouldn’t go immediately in to effect today, having it close by is a necessity.

 Sector snapshots


Rising concession packages, rising vacancies and rising absorption are all in the office tenant’s favor.


Focus has shifted towards sustainability in renovated and newly constructed facilities.


With consumer buying habits rapidly changing, retailers have to focus on innovating and creating the best customer experience.


Modular construction and unique partnerships are just some of the solutions hotels are using to keep project timelines moving.


With healthcare policy in flux, the industry is taking a few measures in anticipation.

Sports facilities

Technology plays a much larger role in fan experience. The days of “seat ‘em and feed ‘em” no longer exist.

 Additional resources


Get the latest on what's happening inside the construction industry directly from the desk of JLL's research team.

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