According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures on the annual rate of construction spending, the country’s state and local governments are on track to spend more than $275 billion on nonresidential, taxpayer-funded construction initiatives this year, with highway and street ($93.5 billion), education ($72.5 billion) and transportation projects ($31.7 billion) together garnering the lion’s share of funds.
State and local airport spending has ramped up to an annual rate of $14.5 billion from a November 2011 low of $9.16 billion, according to additional data provided by Governing. Construction of corrections facilities declined the most of any other major spending category in the last decade, from an $8 billion peak in November 2008 to its current level of $4.6 billion, although some of that decline is likely related to the trend toward privatization of prisons and jails.
Highway and street spending, currently $93.5 billion, has remained relatively flat with only a small peak of $105 billion in January 2016. Spending on primary and secondary schools, which now stands at $46.7 billion, has never returned to its pre-recession highs.
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