By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read JULY 2019— Employment in the U.S. construction sector continued to trend upward last month, with the addition of 21,000 new jobs, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The strength in the sector, reflected also in the latest Miami regional data, suggest the industry is not slowing as quickly as projected.

According to the most-recent BLS data for Miami, the construction industry added 5,100 jobs in May, a 3.7% year-on-year increase and above the 2.8% national figure for that month. The numbers aren’t surprising, given the amount of development in the Miami area.

“What has been impressive to me over the last year is the number of projects we have under construction,” Andrew Burnett, senior principal at Stantec Architecture, told Invest:. “We have around 26 to 30 projects that are either in construction or looking to start construction next year. A large percentage of them are mixed-use residential, and we’re not only providing architecture and interior design services but often engineering and MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) as well.”

As stated in Invest: Miami 2019, residential development remains the top driver of construction in Miami. Although there has been a slight slowdown in the condo market, some experts expect the strong performance to continue.

“I see the right projects and developments continuing to thrive,” Manny Varas, president and CEO of MV Group, told Invest:. “Buyers are taking their time to make better decisions. They’re seeking out developers with strong track records as well as the quality of interiors and finishes that they’re looking for and can count on,” he said.  

In 2018, Miami ranked among the Top 10 U.S. metropolitan areas for commercial and multifamily construction starts, according to Dodge & Data Analytics. The construction in Miami’s residential real estate is characterized by the trend of continued foreign investment in high-profile luxury condos.

Another area with strong demand is infrastructure construction, according to Luis Lugo, Hill International’s senior vice president and regional manager for the Southeast U.S. and Latin America. For example, Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale International Airport, will soon start major expansion and modernization projects and the Miami-Dade Transit SMART program is expected to start construction activity soon. 

“We also do a lot of work with the hospitality industry. We’re building about a dozen hotels throughout the region. That’s a big market for us, and it’s a space in which we excel,” Lugo said. 

Despite speculation about a national economic slowdown, the outlook for Miami’s construction sector is positive. “The market will continue to be strong. A little slowdown is expected, but construction is going to pick up in 2019 and beyond,” Lugo said. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:

Stantec Architecture: https://www.stantec.com/en/services/architecture-interior-design 

MV Group: https://www.mvgroupusa.com/ 

Hill International: https://www.hillintl.com/en