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Category: Research

Browse reports prepared by our research team on the construction industry. We use data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among other sources, to provide readers with up-to-date data and statistics relevant to the construction industry.

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U.S. Cities Where Homeowners Are Most Likely to Refinance Their Mortgage [2021 Edition]

As mortgage interest rates inch up, mortgage refinancing applications are dropping. This comes after refinancing exploded in 2020 during the pandemic as interest rates reached record lows. According to the most recent loan-level mortgage data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, there were about 3.1 million mortgage refinances approved in 2019—a number ultimately projected to ...

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The Top Reasons Mortgage Loans Are Denied in the U.S. [2021 Edition]

Although interest rates have inched up recently, they remain at historic lows, spurring demand in both home purchases and mortgage refinancing. However, many lenders have tightened up their borrowing standards due to the economic uncertainty of the pandemic, and hopeful loan applicants may find it hard to get approved. According to loan-level mortgage data from ...

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Industries With the Highest Rates of Workplace Injuries

One of the concepts that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the forefront of the public imagination is the idea of an “essential worker.” The pandemic highlighted that many professions are critical for allowing the rest of the economy and society to function properly, especially in a time of crisis. Some essential professionals like health workers ...

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U.S. Cities Spending the Most on Residential Construction

One of the major housing market trends that has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic is a preference for single-family housing, and this increased demand is driving a surge in new home construction. For years, many people—especially more mobile, younger populations—were gravitating toward higher-density living in urban areas with an attractive lifestyle and plenty of economic ...

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Best-Paying U.S. Cities for Electricians

For anyone seeking a promising career option with plenty of opportunity in the next few decades, becoming an electrician would be a good choice. Electricians enter the field without four-year degrees and can instead opt for a less expensive trade school education or an apprenticeship that allows them to earn while they hone their skills. ...

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Cities With the Highest (and Lowest) Minority Homeownership Rates

Home equity is one of the biggest contributors to household wealth. According to a Census Bureau report, two assets—home equity and retirement accounts—account for 63 percent of American households’ net worth. Yet, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 65 percent of households owned their homes; among minority households, this share was much lower—just 47 percent. ...

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The Best Cities to Buy a Rental Property

While COVID-19 has been detrimental to many American families, it has helped solidify the financial footing of others. With less money being spent on expenses like travel, commuting, or eating out, household savings rates rose to record levels in 2020. For middle- and high-income workers whose jobs were not interrupted by the pandemic, direct payments ...

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Cities Most Dependent on Small Businesses

Small business is often held up as a key driver of the U.S. economy, and for good reason. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 64 percent of net private-sector jobs created since 2005. Collectively, small enterprises employ around 60 million Americans, which represents nearly half of the private workforce in ...

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U.S. Cities With the Oldest Renters

One of the surprising trends in the U.S. rental market in recent years has been the emergence of Baby Boomers as a major source of demand. For many, the view of a typical renter is a young person, living on leases while they leave home for the first time, seek out jobs and potential partners, ...

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Cities With the Most Construction Workers

The COVID-19 pandemic has had sweeping impacts on the economy and virtually every industry sector. While the construction industry has weathered the storm better than some hard-hit industries—such as leisure and hospitality—construction is facing some unique challenges. Construction companies are currently contending with project cancellations and delays, supply chain disruptions, and COVID infections among workers. ...

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The Most Transient American Cities

The United States has long been a mobile nation. Throughout America’s earliest days as a colonial outpost, the exploration of the frontier, the urbanization of industrial cities, and the postwar suburban boom, the freedom to venture out in search of opportunity has been a lasting American idea. And yet now, in the modern era, data ...

Suburban housing development
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The Hottest Real Estate Markets [2020 Edition]

Despite the current COVID-19 recession and the initial drop in home sales, the national housing market expanded significantly in 2020. According to a report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, record low home inventories in tandem with historically low mortgage interest rates will most likely ensure home prices continue to rise. Data ...

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Cities With the Youngest (and Oldest) Construction Workers

The construction industry is struggling to attract young workers, contributing to a persistent labor shortage. Demand for new home construction continues to be high, and many construction companies are unable to find the workers needed in order to meet demand. As the share of young construction workers declines, the construction workforce is getting older. According ...


A Complete Guide to Preconstruction

What Is Preconstruction? Preconstruction is the term used to describe the process leading up to work on any construction job. In this initial planning phase, stakeholders set expectations, scope out the work, and plan a schedule for the project from start to finish. The preconstruction phase is essential for a successful construction project—without careful, detailed ...

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U.S. Cities Most Impacted By Sea Level Rise

Increasing global temperatures will bring changes to our environment, economy, and society, but one of the most pronounced effects will be the impact on sea level rise. A 2019 report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that global mean sea levels will most likely rise between 0.95 feet and 3.61 feet by 2100 ...

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Cities With the Most Physically Demanding Jobs

The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for the largest wave of job losses since the Great Depression. The mass layoffs caused by social distancing regulations have brought new meaning to the term “essential worker.” Today’s essential workers often hold some of the most physically demanding jobs. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than ...

Brooklyn homes in winter
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Cities With the Biggest Drop in Rent Prices Since COVID

Since the first major outbreak in March 2020, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have continued to unfold. One emerging trend is a drop in rent prices in select major metropolitan areas, countering the long term trend of sustained price increases in these locations. Explanations for the recent decline include the rise of remote work and the ...

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Cities With the Most Women in Construction

Construction has long been a male-dominated field. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 13 percent of payroll employees in the construction industry are women—a number that has remained relatively stagnant since the 1990s. When also taking into account self-employed workers, the proportion is even lower, at just 10.3 percent. Despite ...

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U.S. States With the Most Mortgage Delinquencies

Amid record-breaking unemployment numbers resulting from COVID-19, millions of Americans are struggling to make their mortgage payments in 2020. In response to the crisis, the CARES Act invoked a moratorium on home foreclosures for all federally-backed mortgages that extends until the end of the year. The Act also placed many federally-backed mortgage loans into forbearance, ...

Senior couple looking at their nice house
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Baby Boomer-Dominant Housing Markets

Homeownership has long been considered part of the American dream. But first-time home buyers, especially millennials and Gen Xers, are facing an uphill battle when it comes to house hunting. This is in part because of a growing trend in which baby boomers, the generation that owns the largest share of American homes, are planning ...

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Cities Where Housing Costs Have Risen Fastest Relative to Income

Despite decades of record-setting home sales, owning a home has become increasingly difficult for the average worker. Mortgage interest rates are historically low, yet hourly earnings have failed to keep pace with rising housing costs. Data from the federal government indicates that although earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers increased by approximately 80 percent between ...

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Cities With the Largest Increase in Home Prices Over the Last Decade

According to data from Zillow, home prices in the U.S. have climbed over 42 percent in the last decade. While the country’s housing market as a whole recovered strongly from the lows of the Great Recession, the recovery was not evenly distributed throughout the country’s major cities. As residents of some cities are being priced out ...

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The Most Expensive Zip Code in Every State [2020 Edition]

Despite widespread economic declines brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market has remained surprisingly strong, with record-setting increases in existing home sales in every region of the United States. Recent data indicates that monthly home sales increased by 24.7 percent in July 2020, up from a large rise in June, in which monthly ...

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The Best-Paying Cities for Construction Workers [2020 Edition]

According to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau, total construction spending in the United States amounted to $667.9 billion during the first six months of 2020. While this total represents a 5 percent increase over the same period in 2019, spending has decreased by about $86 billion since the onset of the pandemic in ...

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U.S. States Where Manufactured Housing Is on the Rise

After years of decline starting in the late 1990s, manufactured housing has been gaining in popularity over the past few years. Unlike site-built homes, which are directly constructed on a plot of land, manufactured homes are pre-assembled in factories and then transported to the location where they will be used. According to the U.S. Census ...

Residential home
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Cities Whose Residents Have Paid Off Their Homes [2020 Edition]

The recent economic shutdown resulted in record unemployment and left millions of Americans struggling financially. Even as all 50 states have started reopening, the economy has a long road ahead to full recovery. Housing costs are often the biggest line item for most people’s budgets, and the current economic downturn has made it difficult for ...

Residential construction
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Cities With the Sharpest Drop in Construction Activity Amid COVID-19

When the coronavirus pandemic upended the U.S. economy, many states halted or limited construction work. While real estate development is beginning to resume, recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed an unprecedented drop in residential building permits comparing April of this year to April of 2019. Nationally, there was a 20 percent decline ...

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Cities Hit Hardest by the Drop in Oil Prices

The COVID-19 pandemic has sent the world economy into turmoil as lockdowns around the world have caused economic activity to grind to a halt. The demand for oil has crashed in the wake of the growing pandemic, sending oil prices diving and even dipping below $0 per barrel. According to the most recent data from ...

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American Cities With the Most Small Businesses

Small businesses across the United States face dire circumstances following the COVID-19 outbreak. While each individual small business might seem inconsequential to the broader economy, in aggregate, these firms are critical to the country’s financial well-being. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees make ...

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States Where You Are Most Likely to Get Your Identity Stolen

Coronavirus-related scams have proliferated in recent weeks. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), some businesses have already been reprimanded for misleading claims around coronavirus treatments and cures. But not all scams are related to false advertising. Other common scams include fraudulent online vendors claiming to sell in-demand goods, fake charities soliciting donations, robocalls pushing ...

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The Most Unionized Cities in America

With the global economy in flux due to the coronavirus outbreak, worker protections have been under increased scrutiny. Massive layoffs, especially in the retail, leisure, and hospitality industries, have left millions of Americans without a steady paycheck or benefits. Unfortunately, some of the hardest hit industries also report low union membership rates, making workers even ...

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Keep Your Distance: These Jobs Require the Least Interaction With Others

In the wake of the novel coronavirus, social distancing measures have been put into place nationwide in order to slow the spread of the illness. As part of this initiative, most “non-essential” businesses have temporarily closed and many other companies have switched to remote work. Not surprisingly, many jobs requiring frequent interaction with others have ...

millennial home buyers
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Best Cities for Millennial Home Buyers [2020 Edition]

Over the past few years, homeownership rates for millennials have been slowly on the rise. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the homeownership rate for Americans under 35 grew to roughly 37 percent in 2019. However, homeownership among today’s millennials is still below its peak of 43 percent in 2004 and woefully below the national ...

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Cities With the Most Cost-Burdened Households

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, almost one-third of American households are considered cost-burdened, meaning they spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing costs. While this figure has declined by almost 6 percentage points following the Great Recession, it is likely to increase again as the U.S. ...

Home for sale
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The Toughest Cities for First-Time Home Buyers

Owning a home has long been a cornerstone of the American Dream. However, this dream remains out of reach for many Americans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 64.6 percent of Americans owned a home in 2019. That’s 4.3 percentage points below the peak in 2005. While homeownership rates in the U.S. have picked ...

New home construction
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U.S. Cities Investing the Most in New Housing [2020 Edition]

New housing construction in the U.S. is slowing down, which isn’t good for families already struggling to afford their first home. Even though multi-family dwellings have accounted for the lion’s share of new home construction growth since the recession, the shift away from single-family homes has failed to lower prices. Data from the Department of ...

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Enjoy Working Alone? These Jobs Require the Least Interaction With Others

In recent years, some employers have taken to using personality tests in the hiring process or to learn more about the dynamics within a team. One of the main results of personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs, is indicating whether an individual leans more toward introversion or extroversion. According to psychologist Carl Jung, who first ...

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The Most Unionized States in America

Union membership in the U.S. reached a new low last year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), just 10.5 percent of all employees were union members in 2018 compared to more than 20 percent in 1983. In the wake of the 2018 Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, which prohibits ...

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Best Cities for Construction Workers

The construction industry plays a vital role in the national economy. As of 2019, the total annualized value of construction work in the U.S. was approximately $1.3 trillion, making construction one of the nation’s largest industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 5,962,640 employed construction workers in 2018 (not including self-employed), ...

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The Hottest Real Estate Markets of 2019

Since the housing market crash of 2008 and the ensuing recession, the U.S. economy has not only recovered, but enjoyed steady growth. Beginning in 2012, an improved job market, low interest rates, and low rates of new home construction have meant that demand for homes has outpaced supply, causing home prices across the country to ...

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The Most House Poor Cities in America

June of 2019 marked 10 years of uninterrupted economic growth in the U.S., making it the longest expansion on record since 1854, according to the NBER. Unemployment rates are at historic lows and wages are inching up. So it might come as a surprise that more than a fifth of all American homeowners (almost 17 ...

Residential Housing Development
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States With the Highest Property Tax Rates

The Great Recession was characterized by stark unemployment, financial ruin, and a stalled housing market. Although the National Bureau of Economic Research declared an official end to the economic downturn in June 2009, the American public would feel the effects for years to come. The Great Recession led many Americans to more closely protect their ...

Houston Texas Housing Development
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States Investing the Most in New Housing

The United States is experiencing one of the longest periods of economic expansion in its recent history with both employment rates and real median income rising. However, the number of newly constructed residential buildings nationwide is still far below its 2005 peak of 2.2 million units, with only 1.3 million units breaking ground in 2018. Residential building ...

Miami Florida
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These U.S. Cities Are the Most Threatened by Sea Level Rise

With global temperatures rising at an alarming rate, climate change has become one of the most pressing issues of our time. A special report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contends that land and ocean ecosystems are already starting to change as a result of high carbon emissions, and it is essential to ...

Naples, Florida
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The Most Expensive Neighborhood in Every State

Choosing the right neighborhood can make all the difference when it comes to quality of life. It’s also one of the most important factors that dictate price. According to the Zillow Home Price Index, the median home price in the U.S. is $226,700. However, real estate prices vary widely depending on location. At a macro ...

First-time Home Buyers
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The Best Cities for First-Time Home Buyers

In recent years, the U.S. has become a nation of renters, with more households renting now than at any point since 1965. Although homeownership has historically been part of the American Dream, the lack of affordable housing nationwide puts this goal out of reach for many people. A combination of stagnant wages relative to inflation, ...

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Steep Prices Strain Borrowers & Depress Homeownership in Expensive States

The New York Fed recently released its Household Debt and Credit report for Q4 2018, indicating the status of aggregate household debt in the U.S. The report shows that by the end of 2018, household debt reached a new peak of $13.54 trillion dollars, a 0.2 percent increase from Q3 2018 and $869 billion higher ...

Suburban home
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Cities with the Highest Property Taxes

With President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in effect, living in a high-tax state is now even more expensive than before. Prior to the new law, taxpayers in those states benefited from the ability to deduct the full amount of their state and local tax (SALT) payments on their federal returns. However, starting with the ...

large home
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The Most Expensive Zip Code in Every State

Whether someone is a first-time homebuyer or an investor looking for a rental property, navigating the real estate market can be overwhelming. Local schools, mortgage rates, and the size/condition of the property are a few factors that influence the price tag, but more than anything else, it’s “location, location, location” that dictates the cost of ...

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Cities Investing the Most in New Housing

With mortgage rates and demand for new single-family homes at historic lows, investors are paying close attention to new residential construction this year. Residential building permits and housing starts are two widely used indicators of the broader health of the economy. Increased demand for new homes nationally, and in specific geographic areas, can be a ...