As reported by the US Department of Commerce Census Bureau the value of construction put in place in November by the US education industry proceeded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $82.3 billion –– 2.0 percent above the revised September estimate. We see an uptick in construction spend despite the circumstances of the pandemic. This number does not include renovation for projects under 50,000 square feet and new construction in university-affiliated health care delivery enterprises. The complete report is available at the link below:
This spend makes the US education facilities industry (which includes colleges, universities, technical/vocational and K-12 schools, most university-affiliated medical research and healthcare delivery enterprises, etc.) the largest non-residential building construction market in the United States. For perspective consider total public + private construction ranked according to the tabulation most recently released:
$98.546 | Educational
$115.662 billion | Power
$ 94.184 billion | Commercial
$83.297 billion | Office
$50.111 billion | Healthcare
Overall — including construction, energy, custodial services, furnishings, security. etc., — the non-instructional spend plus the construction spend of the US education facilities is running at a rate of about $300 – $500 billion per year. Cash throughput at this scale draws comparisons with the FY 2018 $247 billion annual revenue of Berkshire-Hathaway (a Fortune #2 corporation) and the ~$400 $USD national gross domestic product of Ireland. There the comparison ends because Finland has evolved a governance structure that mediates cost of benefit with its stakeholders (citizens). There is no analogous governance structure for the stakeholders that carry the cost of education community construction.
The next report will be released on February 1st.
We typically devote our daily colloquium breaking down the new data set; looking for clues relevant to spend decisions. Finally, we encourage the education facilities industry to contribute to the accuracy of these monthly reports by responding the US Census Bureau’s data gathering contractors.