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Home / Commercial Construction / AGC report finds Wis. construction output still lags pre-recession levels

AGC report finds Wis. construction output still lags pre-recession levels

A report commissioned by the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin finds the Wisconsin construction industry generated $50.3 billion in economic output in 2019, a sum that’s still below levels seen before the Great Recession.

The report, conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder, finds that although Wisconsin’s construction industry weathered the COVID-19 pandemic better than most industries in the state, it has yet to rival its pre-recession highs.

The construction industry’s share of total state output is also smaller now than it was two decades ago, the report finds. In 2019, the industry’s overall economic output dropped by 1.4%, the first decline in eight years, and 21.6% below construction’s peak in 2000.

Residential construction has been particularly hit hard, the report finds. The number of residential building permits, for instance, was 20% below than the 2007 level, and 56.3% below the level seen in 2004.

The construction industry’s total share of economic output has also fallen from 6% in 2000 to 3.6% in 2019. Total employment in Wisconsin construction was also 4.6% lower than its peak in 2006.

The coronavirus pandemic, however, appears to be causing less economic damage to construction than other industries in the state. The industry’s real GDP was down 5.4% in August from a year before, below the 10.8% seen for all other industries in the state.

More findings from the report:

  • Average wages in construction were $64,778 in 2019, higher than the state average of $51,052
  • Construction supported 331,013 jobs in 2019 and contributed $19.3 billion in labor income
  • Every dollar spent within the industry produced an economic benefit of $1.81
  • Every $1 million spent on construction supports 12 jobs on average over a year — seven of those in the construction industry and five outside

About Nate Beck, [email protected]

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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