A new forecast anticipates that construction spending this year will be up about 8-percent compared to last year.
The University of Alaska's Institute of Social and Economic Research put together the forecast, which includes an estimate of about $8.4-billion dollars in construction spending this year. The authors of the forecast note that employment in the construction industry last year was about 16.5-thousand and they anticipate that employment will remain stable this year. Construction in the oil and gas sector is expected to total about $3.6-billion dollars this year with public construction spending anticipated to come in at about $2.7-billion dollars.
The authors are quick to point out that the budget crisis and the "Sequestration" could postpone or even eliminate some construction spending funded by federal dollars. Construction in the mining industry is anticipated to be about $330-million dollars this year while utility companies are expected to put about $830-million dollars into construction. Construction spending on hospitals and other health care facilities is expected to top $220-million dollars. Projects outlined by the report's authors include the project to expand the facilities of the Providence Health Center in Anchorage and the facility expansion at the Central Peninsula Hospital on the Kenai Peninsula.
Commercial construction spending this year is anticipated to be about $150-million dollars while residential construction spending is expected to top $440-million dollars. Construction spending on schools and other education related facilities is anticipated to top $490-million dollars including the planned new schools in Koliganek and Emmonak as part of the settlement of the Kasayulie case. The 2013 Construction Spending Forecast for Alaska can be found on the website of the University of Alaska's Institute of Social and Economic Research.