Spending on total private construction and residential construction increased marginally in July (1% and 0.3%, respectively), according to a release from the U.S. Department of Commerce Thursday. Spending for new single-family and multifamily construction both decreased in July, co-occurring with declining employment in the construction industry seen the past few months.

Spending on private residential construction increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $445.5 billion in July, a 0.3% increase from the downwardly revise rate of $444 billion in June. Spending in the private residential construction sector has trended up gradually over the past six years--after falling to a low of $230.5 billion in May 2009--but it remains well below the pre-crisis peak level of $678.0 billion reached in February 2006. July's rate of spending for private residential construction marks a 1.9% increase compared to the July 2015 rate.

New single-family construction spending dropped to $238.1 billion in July, down -0.2% month-over-month but up 1.9% year-over-year. July is the fifth consecutive month residential construction spending has declined. Spending on new multifamily construction dipped -0.6% month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted rate of $59.8 billion, but July's rate also marked an increase of 1.7% from a year prior.

The overall construction industry (including total private construction and total public construction) stayed flat in July, with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.15 trillion, a 0% change from June. Year-over-year, total residential construction spending in July (including both private and public) marked a modest 1.5% increase compared to a year prior.

Read the full release of the Value of Construction Put in Place Survey here >>