-16.9%

Percentage decline in sales of newly built, single-family homes in February, putting this market at a record-low, seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000 units. According to Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev., this report is primarily a reflection of consumer uncertainty regarding the overall economy.

Source: U.S. Commerce Department and the National Association of Home Builders

1.2%

Percentage increase in the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) from January to February. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The February ABI score came in at 50.6, up from 50.0 the previous month. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 56.4, compared to a mark of 56.5 in December.

Source: American Institute of Architects

36

Number of states in which construction employment declined between January 2010 and January 2011. Florida (-24,000 jobs or largest number of positions) and Nevada (-12.9% or largest percentage decline) experienced the largest annual drops, while Georgia (-19,100 jobs) and North Carolina (-5,100 jobs) lost the most jobs between December 2010 and January 2011. Texas (33,400 jobs) added the most jobs for the year, while Maine (8.7%) added the highest percentage of new construction jobs. From December to January, California (17,800 jobs) added the most jobs for the month, while Vermont (5.4%) added the highest percentage of new construction jobs that month.

Source: Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)

-4%

Percentage drop in new construction starts (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate) from January to February.

Source: McGraw-Hill Construction

4.4%

Percentage increase in the average salary offer ($61,690) electrical engineering majors in the class of 2011 can expect to receive compared to last year, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The overall average salary offer to a class of 2011 bachelor’s degree graduate is $50,034, up 3.5% over last year at this time.

Source: BusinessWest