Nationally, as of the fourth quarter of 2013 housing’s share of gross domestic product stood at 15.3%, with the residential construction sector responsible for approximately 3.1 percentage points of that total. Similar Bureau of Economic Analysis data also allows a tracking of state-by-state economic output due to the construction sector – residential and nonresidential. These state-level numbers highlight the role of the construction sector as an engine of local economic growth.
The data in the map above come from 2012, the most recent year reported. Nationwide, construction was responsible for only 3.45% of economic output at that time. However given gains in construction spending in 2013, the construction share has certainly risen over recent months.
In 2012, the state with the highest construction share of gross state product (GSP) was Hawaii, where 5.27% of state output was due to construction. Other top states include North Dakota (5.15%), Mississippi (5.08%), Wyoming (5.08%), and Montana (5.05%).
The data also enable estimating the change in construction sector state product from 2011 to 2012, a period when the housing recovery began to take hold. The second map charts the percent change in the share of construction in terms of GSP.
States where the construction share rose the most as a percentage of the state’s economy include many states with growing natural resource and energy sectors: North Dakota (14% growth in share), West Virginia (13%), Alaska (6%), Kansas (6%), and Wyoming (5%).
When released, the 2013 data will provide a better sense of the impact the ongoing recovery in residential construction is playing in various local economies. The national numbers confirm that construction’s role in expanding economic activity grew during 2013, as the pace of residential construction spending increased more than 18% from the end of 2012 to the end of 2013.