COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSNIESS FIRST) — According to new data from Dodge Data and Analytics, October construction starts in the Columbus metro area rose 15% compared to October 2020 and 32% for the year.

The Columbus metro area includes Delaware, Franklin, Fairfield, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway and Union counties.

Non-residential construction starts increased by 77%, from $207,517,000 in 2020 to $367,497,000 this year.

“Economic growth has resumed following the third quarter’s Delta-led slowdown. However, the construction sector’s grip on growth remains tenuous,” Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Construction Network, said in a release.

The non-residential category includes projects started for office, retail, hotels, warehouses, manufacturing, education, health care, religious and government buildings. Nationwide, non-residential building starts rose 29% in October 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

Residential construction, both single-family and multifamily, did not see the same increase. Residential construction starts dropped 29% from October 2020 to October 2021.

Year to date on a cumulative basis, residential construction rose by 22%.

Nationally, total construction starts pushed 16% higher in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.01 trillion, according to the Dodge data.

Branch said the recent passage of the infrastructure bill and an increase of non-residential building projects in the pipeline should see construction starts improve.

“Both will provide meaningful support and growth to construction in the year to come,” Branch said. “This expectation, however, must be tempered by the significant challenges facing the industry: high prices, shortages of key materials, and the continued scarcity of skilled labor. While healing from the pandemic continues, there’s still a long road back to full recovery.”

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