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ACEC Releases Monthly Economic Update for the Engineering and Design Industry

With employment high and inflation on the upswing, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates in March which could temper demand for construction.


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 public industry data and provides insights for the engineering and design industry.

Here are the toplines from this month’s update:

  • Total design and construction is up nearly 8% from January through November 2021 over the same time-frame the year before, per U.S. Census Bureau. That category remains driven by private residential spending which is up more than 23% over the previous year.
  • The labor crunch is in full effect for the engineering industry. In December, unemployment dipped to below 4% for the first time since the pandemic started. At the same time, yearly wage growth is up 4.7% which is having an extreme impact on our industry where our product is engineering services.
  • The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates when they meet in March. The Fed’s mandates are to promote maximum employment and stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates, and with the current unemployment rate low and inflation rising this could turn down the heat. It may also temper demand for construction.

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 March, the ACEC Private Market Resources team will hold a symposium on the commercial and residential real estate market in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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


Resource Type

Press Release

Topic Area

Economic Insight


January 20, 2022

Resource Link

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