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A Chill in U.S. February Employment Numbers, Canada’s Performance Perkier

Friday, March 8th, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

February’s Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics delivered the kind of U.S. total employment change, month to month, that we have become unaccustomed to seeing. Net jobs growth was quite weak, at only +20,000. It’s been 17 months since the figure was comparably low, +18,000 in September 2017.

A Chill in U.S. February Employment Numbers; Canada’s Performance Perkier Graphic

Over the last several years, the month-to-month jobs gain has usually been at least +175,000, often exceeding +200,000. In the first month of this year, January, it was +311,000.

On the brighter side, the unemployment rate in the latest month improved to 3.8% from 4.0% in the prior period.

There was only one major industrial sector with a substantial pick-up in nominal number of jobs in January, ‘professional and business services,’ +42,000. The staffing increases were evenly and widely spread among segments of the sector (e.g., accounting, design, computer, and help-wanted services).

‘Education and health services’ added just 4,000 jobs, but that was because education services declined by -19,000 jobs. ‘Health care and social assistance’ wasn’t shy about hiring, lifting its combined payroll by +23,000.


2018 Residential Construction Market Highlights − U.S. and Canada

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

Issuance of year-end data on U.S. new homebuilding activity was delayed due to the partial government shutdown which kept Census Bureau workers away from their desks.

2018 Residential Construction Market Highlights − U.S. and Canada Graphic

Over the past month, however, there have been diligent catch-up efforts and December’s preliminary residential ‘starts’ and ‘permits’ numbers are now available.

There are ‘starts’ at the national level; but for states and cities, the figures are based on building permits.

This article will mainly concentrate on new home groundbreakings in America’s largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). ‘Permits’ in units will be accepted as equivalent to ‘starts’.

‘Permits’ are first published by the Census Bureau, then repackaged in a more user-friendly form by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

When Canadian statistics are mentioned, they have been made available by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and they are ‘starts’.


Rankings of States and Provinces by Roadwork Construction Starts

Monday, March 4th, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

The table and maps accompanying this article feature comparisons of highway, street and roadwork construction starts in all the states, plus District of Columbia, in two ways: (1) by dollar-volume level, taking the annual average over the past two years (2017 and 2018); and (2) per capita (i.e., the dollar volume in (1) divided by each individual state’s population).

Rankings of States and Provinces by Roadwork Construction Starts Graphic

In some states, there can be considerable variation in the dollar volume of roadwork starts from one year to the next. Therefore, it seems only fair to smooth the series out a bit, and hence the reason for utilizing a latest-two-years average.

On the left-hand side of Table 1, there is a ranking of all states and D.C. according to their level of roadwork construction starts. Sixteen states have exceeded an annual average of $1.0 billion over the past two years and they are highlighted in Map 1. Washington state, at $995 million, and New Jersey, at $980 million, just missed the cut.


Minimal Progress in Fixing U.S. and Canadian Foreign Trade Difficulties

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

Early in February, there should have been the release of December 2018 foreign trade statistics for both the U.S. and Canada. The publication schedule has been thrown off track, however, by the 35-day partial U.S. government shutdown, which kept Census Bureau workers off the job.

U.S. and Canadian Foreign Trade Graphic

Since three-quarters of Canadian exports are shipped to the U.S. and two-thirds of Canadian imports are drawn from the U.S., Statistics Canada felt it could not publish accurate numbers either. Therefore, the latest statistics available for study, both south and north of the border, are for November. A statement has been issued that the target date for dissemination of December findings is March 6th.

Nevertheless, there is much to be learned from the material that is at hand. The bottom line is that there has been minimal progress lately in fixing significant U.S. and Canadian foreign trade difficulties.

Graphs 1 and 2 tell the story. Canada’s trade deficit (annualized) in November was -$25 billion CAD; America’s was a massive -$592 billion USD.


Series (7 of 7): Rankings of States by Industrial Sub-Sector Jobs – Construction

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

This article is the seventh, or final one, in a series of seven that examines key industrial sectors to determine where they are most significant regionally. Rankings of state strength in each industrial sub-sector are based on both ‘weight’ and ‘concentration’ of relevant employment.

‘Weight’ is simply the number of jobs in the industrial sub-sector in each state. ‘Concentration’ is each state’s number of jobs in the sub-sector divided by the state’s population. In effect, it’s a ‘per capita’ figure, except that it’s expressed as number of jobs per million population.

By ‘weight’, the states with the largest populations are almost always high in the rankings. The rankings by ‘concentration’, however, often expose some unexpected winners.


A Slow Beginning for 2019 Construction Starts

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

ConstructConnect announced today that January’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $27.8 billion, a change of -6.7% compared with December 2018’s level of $29.7 billion. The latest month-to-month adjustment was in close alignment with the usual shift in starts volumes between December and January, due to seasonality, of -8.5%.

A Slow Beginning for 2019 Construction Starts Graphic

Nonresidential starts in January 2019 relative to the previous five-year average for January, i.e., from 2014 through 2018, were -4.5%. January 2019 compared with January 2018 was -20.6%. At $35.0 billion, January 2018 managed an abnormally high volume of starts activity.

The starts figures throughout this report are not seasonally adjusted (NSA). Nor are they altered for inflation. They are expressed in what are termed ‘current’ as opposed to ‘constant’ dollars.

‘Nonresidential building’ plus ‘engineering/civil’ work accounts for a larger share of total construction than residential activity. The former’s combined proportion of total put-in-place construction in the Census Bureau’s latest report, for November, was 59%; the latter’s was 41%.


Top 25 U.S. Cities for Medical Facility Construction Starts

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

There are 51 metropolitan statistical areas (CMAs) in the United States with population levels above one million each. Drawing from ConstructConnect’s data pool for those 51 cities, Table 1 ranks the Top 25 markets in America for medical facility construction starts in 2018. (Map 1 showcases the Top 20.)

Leading all cities last year was Washington, D.C., with groundbreakings on hospitals, clinics, nursing and seniors’ homes combined valued at $1.3 billion. Next in line were Cleveland ($1.1 billion), Phoenix ($883 million), Cincinnati ($858 million), Pittsburgh ($740 million), Atlanta and Orlando (tied at $736 million), Tampa-St. Petersburg ($718 million); and Houston ($708 million).

Notice the presence of a pair of cities in Ohio – i.e., Cleveland and Cincinnati – only a rung or two short of the summit in the dollar-volume listing.


Top 25 U.S. Cities for School Construction Starts

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

There are 51 metropolitan statistical areas (CMAs) in the United States with population levels above one million. Drawing from ConstructConnect’s data pool for those 51 cities, Table 1 ranks the Top 25 markets in America for educational facility construction starts last year. (Map 1 showcases the Top 20.)


Educational Facility Construction Starts
Top 25 Markets among Biggest U.S. Cities*
Rank by
2018 2017 2018 % Change
$ Value City / MSA                    ($billions) 2018/2017
1 New York, NY-NJ $3.290 $3.367 2.3%
2 Dallas-Ft Worth, TX $2.355 $3.100 31.7%
3 Los Angeles, CA $2.416 $2.626 8.7%
4 Houston, TX $2.778 $2.592 -6.7%
5 Seattle-Tacoma, WA $1.970 $1.560 -20.8%
6 Chicago, IL $1.188 $1.219 2.6%
7 Boston, MA $2.023 $1.217 -39.8%
8 San Francisco – Oakland, CA $1.014 $1.145 13.0%
9 Portland, OR-WA $0.370 $1.117 201.8%
10 Philadelphia, PA $0.790 $1.090 38.0%
11 Atlanta, GA $0.807 $0.991 22.8%
12 Washington, DC – VA  – MD – WV $1.279 $0.966 -24.5%
13 San Diego, CA $0.543 $0.907 67.2%
14 Baltimore, MD $0.917 $0.866 -5.6%
15 Sacramento, CA $0.291 $0.852 193.0%
16 Austin, TX $0.961 $0.762 -20.7%
17 San Antonio, TX $1.142 $0.735 -35.6%
18 Las Vegas, NV $0.286 $0.654 128.7%
19 Orlando, FL $0.640 $0.613 -4.1%
20 Salt Lake City, UT $0.660 $0.609 -7.7%
21 Cleveland, OH $0.369 $0.586 59.0%
22 Raleigh, NC $0.372 $0.574 54.3%
23 Denver, CO $0.422 $0.573 35.8%
24 Minneapolis – St Paul, MN – WI $0.843 $0.561 -33.4%
25 Providence, RI-MA $0.306 $0.551 80.1%
*There are 51 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the U.S. with populations exceeding onemillion.
Data source and table: ConstructConnect ‘Insight’.



Infographic: Canada’s Fast Population Growth

Friday, February 1st, 2019

Due to its complexity, much of the subject matter concerning the economy requires detailed editorial commentary, often supported by relevant tables and graphs. This infographic looks at Canada’s extraordinarily fast population growth and the latest statistics.

Infographic: Canada's latest population statistics

At the same time, though, there are many topics (e.g., relating to demographics, housing starts, etc.) that cry out for compelling ‘short-hand’ visualizations.

Whichever path is followed, the point of the journey, almost always, is to reach a bottom line or two.

To provide additional value at its corporate blog site, ConstructConnect is now pleased to offer an ongoing series of Infographics.

These will help readers sort out the ‘big picture’ more clearly.

Click Here to view the latest infographic.

To view more infographics, Click Here

Also read the related article, “15 Bullet Points on Canada’s Extraordinarily Fast Population Growth“.

15 Bullet Points on Canada’s Extraordinarily Fast Population Growth

Monday, January 28th, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

Statistics Canada’s latest national and provincial/territorial population estimates are for October 1, 2019. The two tables included with this article and the 15 bullet points below throw a spotlight on many of Canada’s most recent demographic highlights.

Canada’s Extraordinarily Fast Population Growth Graphic

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