Construction growth

Construction spending hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.329 trillion and grew 5.5 percent for nine months of 2018 combined, with continued year-to-date gains for major public and private categories, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America.

During the first half of 2017, eight of the top ten metropolitan markets for commercial and multifamily construction starts ranked by dollar volume registered decreased activity compared to a year ago, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. At the same time, metropolitan markets ranked 11 through 20 showed growth for nine of the ten markets, as smaller geographic areas are picking up the slack from the deceleration underway in those cities that have led the commercial and multifamily upturn over the past several years.

It is not news to say Denver is growing. Nor is it really news to say cranes have become as much of a staple of the contemporary Denver skyline as the Republic Plaza. What is news is that all those cranes don't have nearly enough construction workers operating behind them.

John Killin pressed the panic button in February amid a multibillion-dollar tsunami of real estate development. The building frenzy that lit up the Portland-area economy and changed the city irrevocably has depleted the pool of skilled construction workers.