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Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect
Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect
Alex Carrick is Chief Economist for ConstructConnect. He is a frequent contributor to the Daily Commercial News and the Journal of Commerce. He has delivered presentations throughout North America on the Canadian, United States and world construction outlooks. A trusted and often-quoted source for … More »

Total Employment Increase in U.S. and Canada in November +300,000

 
December 15th, 2017 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

November’s Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) records a net gain in U.S. total jobs during the month of +228,000.

U.S. Put-in-Place Construction Spending Forecasts – Heading Into Winter 2017

 
December 13th, 2017 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

ConstructConnect is known for its ‘starts’ statistics and forecasts. Twice per year, however, − in early summer and late fall − ConstructConnect also calculates and publishes ‘put-in-place’ construction spending projections.

2017-12-04-US-Economy-Put-in-Place-Graphic

It helps that the ‘starts’ numbers are leading indicators for the PIP figures.

The history of PIP capital spending is compiled and published by the Census Bureau. A thorough explanation of the differences between ‘starts’ and ‘put-in-place’ is provided at the end of this article.

ConstructConnect is now estimating that ‘grand total’ U.S. put-in-place construction spending in 2017, expressed in ‘current’-dollar terms (i.e., not adjusted for inflation), will be $1.233 trillion.
Read the rest of U.S. Put-in-Place Construction Spending Forecasts – Heading Into Winter 2017

Audesk University Opening Keynote by Autodesk’s President and CEO, Andrew Anagnost

 
November 16th, 2017 by Sanjay Gangal

Autodesk’s President and CEO, Andrew Anagnost, kicks off AU 2017 with a unique perspective on automation and the Future of Work. Passionate about the topic, Andrew gives you the confidence to embrace this new future, and guest speakers share insights to help you thrive in this new world of working. You are left informed and excited about this future.

SPEAKERS

ANDREW ANAGNOST

Andrew Anagnost is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Autodesk. Anagnost’s career spans more than 25 years of product, business, and marketing experience focused on driving strategy, transformation, and product development and includes positions at Autodesk, Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company, and EXA Corporation. He also completed a doctorate degree at Stanford University and worked at NASA Ames Research Center as an NRC post-doctoral fellow. Anagnost began his career at Autodesk in 1997 and has held a wide range of roles in the areas of marketing, new business development, product management, and product development. Prior to becoming President and CEO in June 2017, he served as Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of the Business Strategy & Marketing organization. In this role, Andrew served as architect and leader of Autodesk’s business model transition moving the company to become a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions provider. Previously, Anagnost held various executive positions across Autodesk. Early in his Autodesk career, he led the development of the company’s manufacturing products and grew Autodesk Inventor revenue to over $500 million. Anagnost is a member of the Autodesk Board of Directors. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the California State University, and holds both an MS in Engineering Science and a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering and Computer Science from Stanford University.

Read the rest of Audesk University Opening Keynote by Autodesk’s President and CEO, Andrew Anagnost

Stock Market Prices Playing Sidekick Role in a ‘Buddy Movie’

 
November 13th, 2017 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

As shown in Graphs 1, 2 and 3, the most widely known and discussed U.S. stock market indices – Dow Jones Industrial (DJI), S&P 500 and NASDAQ – all set new record highs in July.

On a year-over-year basis, the DJI at the close of last month was +18.8%; the S&P 500 was +13.6%; and NASDAQ especially stood out with a gain of +23.0%.

Just as remarkable have been the improvements in those three indices relative to their prior peaks.

Since its previous summit in October 2007 (13,930), the DJI is +57.2%.

Since October 2007 (1,549), the S&P 500 is +59.5%.

Also since October 2007 (2,859), when it managed a mini-peak, NASDAQ is presently +122.0%. NASDAQ is even up substantially (+35.2%) relative to its ‘Mt. Everest’ of peaks in February 2000 (4,696), when the ‘dot.com boom’ was in full swing.

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Ranking the Economic Performance of Canada’s Provinces – Heat Graph

 
November 6th, 2017 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

Chart 1 of this article sets out, for each of Canada’s provinces, the most recent year-over-year growth rates for seven demographic and economic variables – population, housing starts, total jobs, hourly earnings, weekly earnings, retail sales and export sales.

An eighth measure is also included, the unemployment rate, but it is a ‘level’ rather than a growth rate.

To compare how the provinces are doing relative to each other, Chart 2 rearranges the results from Chart 1 in a ‘heat’ graphic. The methodology is as follows.

In each column of Chart 1, when the percent change number is equal to or higher than the Canada-wide figure, the relevant ‘cell’ is highlighted in yellow (for ‘warm’).

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Seven Surefire U.S. Job Creators

 
October 26th, 2017 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

The U.S. total employment increase since the Great Recession has been quite strong. Most type-of-job categories have bounced back with remarkable resiliency.

2017-09-13-US-Jobs-Graphic

There are seven areas within the economy, however, where the jobs improvement has gone well beyond most others. Their employment levels have displayed almost nothing but ascending progressions.

They even moved through 2008-09’s Big Dip relatively unscathed.

Due to their upbeat story, I thought it would be fun to put the seven on display in this article.

Few of the seven will come as a surprise. Most have already received much media attention.

Read the rest of Seven Surefire U.S. Job Creators

13 Mid-September Economic Nuggets

 
October 23rd, 2017 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

Hurricane Harvey, which first struck southern Texas on Saturday August 25, and Hurricane Irma, which reached landfall in the Florida Keys on Sunday September 10, will ‘muddy’ the economic statistics for months to come. Estimates of the physical damage range widely, with $200 billion as the current outer limit.

Homes, shopping malls, schools, churches, fast-food outlets, abandoned motor vehicles and fragile vegetation were all victimized, to varying degrees, by storm surges, flooding and crushing winds. In the aftermath, restoring power and ensuring the safety of roads and bridges have been the immediate concerns.

Many building material suppliers and contractors, working together with insurance companies and government relief bodies, will be immersed in lengthy rebuilding efforts. The labor availability problem will become more acute.

Read the rest of 13 Mid-September Economic Nuggets

Chief Economist Alex Carrick Shares Outlook on 2018

 
October 19th, 2017 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

Employment and revenues for architecture, engineering and construction have grown modestly for most of 2017. But the signals for the next 12 months are mixed, with architectural billings positive, construction starts uneven and contractors hiring, but worried about finding enough qualified workers. Meanwhile, there is huge uncertainty about the impact of potential changes in tax, infrastructure, immigration and other types of policy. How will these cross-cutting influences play out?

On November 1, three of the industry’s leading economists will come together for the annual Design and Construction Industry Economic Forecast, where they’ll discuss the changing landscape of commercial construction, the opportunities and challenges facing the industry as well as strategic insight on industry trends.

Construct Connect recently spoke to Alex Carrick, Chief Economists for ConstructConnect, for a quick discussion about his thoughts on the current state of the construction industry and where things are heading.

ConstructConnect: How long have you been hosting this webcast, what’s it about and who should attend?

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2 Leading Monitors of U.S. Construction Activity, 1 Public and 1 Private – Early Fall 2017

 
October 16th, 2017 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect


Article source: ConstructConnect

The percentage levels and changes in Table 1 are based on the Census Bureau’s seasonally-adjusted (SA) August 2017 and earlier put-in-place construction statistics. ‘Put-in-place’ as a concept is meant to mirror work-in-process or progress payments as projects proceed.

2017-10-03-US-Put-in-Place-Aug-2017

For each type-of-structure, Table 1 takes the behind-the-scenes put-in-place data and compares the percentage changes of latest-12-months-over-previous-12-months versus latest-three-months-over-previous-three-months (annualized).

If the three-month percent change exceeds the 12-month percent change, then construction activity in that type-of-structure category is considered to be speeding up. A check mark is entered in the far right column. (If the opposite is occurring, a check mark is entered in the ‘slowing down’ column.)

If a type-of-structure category has a latest 3-month percent-change that is negative, but less negative, than its 12-month percent-change, such a circumstance is also considered to be an instance of ‘speeding up’ and warrants a check mark in the right-hand column. (Or, if it’s turning more negative, then it’s ‘slowing down’ further.)
Read the rest of 2 Leading Monitors of U.S. Construction Activity, 1 Public and 1 Private – Early Fall 2017

Average U.S. August Jobs Report Takes Back Seat to Hurricane Harvey

 
October 13th, 2017 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

August’s Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) records a month-to-month increase in U.S. total employment of +156,000.

The +156,000 figure is a little weaker than the seven-month average so far this year of +176,000.

Furthermore, this year’s January-through-August average of +176,000 is -9.2% compared with the +194,000 number for the same time frame last year.

Just the same, +150,000 or more is a benchmark that defines when a jobs report should be greeted with warmth.

The nation’s unemployment rate in August eased back a little to 4.4% from 4.3% in July.

Goods production contributed more towards the total jobs increase in August than is normally the case. Mining, forestry, construction and manufacturing combined for a +70,000 month-to-month jobs gain, or nearly 50% of the +156,000 total.

Read the rest of Average U.S. August Jobs Report Takes Back Seat to Hurricane Harvey

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