City Grill

Ken Simonson

Ken Simonson 
Chief Economist
Associated General Contractors of America

Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that construction employment in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan statistical area increased 2% to a total of 113,300 jobs from August 2021 to August 2022, Simonson says. “That trailed the increases for the U.S. during the same span, at 4.2%, and for the state, at 4.6%.”

While demand for distribution space in the Inland Empire region grew during the pandemic, “a slowdown in demand for consumer goods in recent months has led to a decline in new warehouse construction,” he explains.

Riverside’s population has grown faster than the nation’s, he says, noting rates of 1.7% against 0.1% from April 1, 2020, to July 1, 2021. A slowdown in residential construction is now expected due to mortgage rate increases as well as rising financing and construction costs for developers.

“That will be a drag on demand for streets, underground utilities, schools, libraries, public safety buildings as well as retail and consumer services-related construction that is tied to increased population and new housing developments,” Simonson notes.