Skip to content

ACEC Releases Monthly Economic Update for the Engineering and Design Industry

Infrastructure investment is driving the top markets for 2022.


Washington, DC – Recently, the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) released a new monthly video economic update. Each month, ACEC Vice President of Private Market Resources Erin McLaughlin analyzes the latest industry data and provides insights for the engineering and design industry.

Here are the toplines from this month’s update:

  • We now have year-over-year data for total design and construction which was up more than 8% in 2021 compared to 2020, per the U.S. Census Bureau. The category remains driven by private residential spending which was up more than 23% year-over-year. Public construction was down 4.2 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, but that is expected to pick up with the passage of the infrastructure bill.The hottest markets year-over-year were residential up 23%, and manufacturing up 8.5%. The coolest markets were public safety down by 33% and lodging down 32% — both markets where social distancing is nearly impossible.
  • Infrastructure investment is driving 2022’s top markets, according to data shared by FMI. The organization predicts that manufacturing will lead the top 5 growth markets at 12% year-over-year anticipated growth. Close behind are sewage and waste disposal at 8%, and highway and street, water supply, and conservation and development at 7% each.
  • Wages continue to impact the economy, according to the latest National Association for Business Economics survey. For the first time in the survey’s 40-year history, more than two-thirds of respondents said wages are rising at their firm. This is the third consecutive survey where no respondent reported falling wages. As a service industry, this has a significant impact on engineering and design which operates on slim margins and often has wage costs baked into projects in advance.

The video series is one of ACEC’s resources for media and members, which also includes ACEC’s popular Private Industry Briefs. The briefs provide analysis on five key markets: Commercial and Real Estate; Intermodal and Logistics; Energy and Utilities; Health Care and Science+Technology; and K-12 & Higher Education.

In April, the ACEC private markets team will hold a symposium discussing the health care, science and technology markets in Boston, Mass.

Learn more about ACEC’s full slate of private market offerings here.



Resource Type

Press Release

Topic Area

Economic Insight


February 22, 2022

Resource Link

View Resource

Scroll To Top