Welcome to our fifth Substack Blog that focuses on construction costs. Engineering News Record (ENR) history that can be traced back to 1874. The publication has its roots in two separate publications, Engineer & Surveyor and The Plumber and Sanitary Engineer. The first issue of Engineering News-Record was published on April 5, 1917. On January 1st, 1987, the acronym ENR was adopted as the title of the magazine. The charts that follow use data that are courtesy of ENR magazine that is published 26 times a year. Historical data was pulled from microfiche copies of the magazine obtained from the New York Public Library. ENR magazine is only a small portion of the products offered by Engineer News Record and we recommend readers, particularly those with an interest in engineering and construction, take the time to view the ENR website to learn more at…


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ENR Indexes

ENR Building Cost Index

The ENR Building Cost Index notched another high in September but the 12-month Rate of Change continues to contract (10.31) and is back below its 24 month moving average (red line in lower panel).

ENR Construction Cost Index

The ENR Construction Cost Index has started to stabilize due in part to the lumber component contracting over the past month.

ENR Skilled Labor Index

The ENR Skilled Labor Index registered a new high for September and the 12-month rate of change (purple line lower panel) continues to climb higher above the 24-month moving average.

ENR Common Labor Index

The steady climb of the ENR Common Labor Index has continued unabated over the past 25 years and the rate of change which had not surprisingly contract between 2018 to 2020 has begun to stabilize since the beginning of 2021 at witnessed by the 24-month moving average.

ENR Materials Price index

The ENR Materials Prices Index has contracted month over month. This also can be attributed to the pullback in lumber prices.

Select Construction Aggregate Prices

Concrete Sand

The cost of Concrete Sand has registered another new price high per ton and is up 47.71% over the past twelve months.

Masonry Sand

Although the rise in the cost of Masonry Sand has not been as parabolic as Concrete Sand it none the less has reached a new price high and is up 22.87% over the past 12 months.

Ashphalt Paving

The price of Ashphalt Paving has pulled back slightly from the August highs.

Crushed Stone

The 20-City Average price of Base Course Crushed Stone reached another record in high in September and is up 23.30 over the past 12 months.

Portland Cement

The cost per/ton of Type One Portland Cement has fallen slightly from last month but nonetheless is up 14.91% over the past 12 months.

Ready Mix Concrete

The fall in price month over month in Ready Mix Concrete has been de minimus and is up 8.47% over the past 12 months.

Lightweight Concrete Block

The Cost of Lightweight Concrete Blocks has also come in month over month.

Data is coutesy of Engineering News Record

Charts are courtesy of Optuma whose charting software enables anyone to visualize any data. To receive a 30-day trial of Optuma charting software go to


The Market’s Compass will publish select ENR construction data charts via The Market’s Compass Substack Blog every two to three weeks when new data is available.

The Market’s Compass Technical View is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.