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Posts Tagged ‘Economist’

New Industry Snapshot dated February 2018 and based on January starts stats

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Article source: ConstructConnect

ConstructConnect announced today that January’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential activity, was $29.3 billion. The fact that some of the monthly starts numbers can display wild swings is confirmed by the following. January 2018’s volume of starts relative to December 2017’s level was +35.8%; but January 2018 compared with January 2017 was -22.6%.

2018-02-14-US-Nonresidential-Construction-Starts-January-2018

The outsized percentage changes resulted from December 2017 being abnormally low ($21.6 billion) and January 2017 being inordinately high ($37.9 billion). Usually, it’s the presence or absence of a mega project or two that causes the monthly number to display extreme volatility.

Comparing January of this year with the annual average for January from the preceding five years, 2013 to 2017, − i.e., employing a ‘smoothing’ technique, − yields an increase of +9.7%.

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.

View this information as an infographic.

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Rankings of U.S. State Construction Employment Statistics

Monday, January 8th, 2018

Article source: ConstructConnect

The tables accompanying this article highlight some of the key statistics on construction employment in 48 U.S. States. The source material from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) omits Delaware, the District of Columbia (D.C.) and Hawaii. The most recent data is for November 2017 and is not seasonally adjusted (NSA).

2018-01-05-US-Construction-Labor-Graphic

Table 1 ranks states by number of construction workers; Table 2 ranks states by year-over-year change in number of construction workers; and Table 3 ranks states by year-over-year percentage change in number of construction workers.

It’s not surprising that the large-population-states also account for the highest numbers of construction workers. The ranking positions 1 through 7 in Table 1 − i.e., California followed by Texas, Florida, N.Y., Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio − exactly correspond with the latest (for July 1, 2017) state population rankings.

Further down the listing, however, there are some significant variances. For example, Georgia is 8th for population, but 11th for construction employment; Michigan is 10th for population, but 13th for construction employment; New Jersey is 11th for population, but 15th for construction employment; Washington is 13th for population, but 9th for construction employment; Maryland is 19th for population, but 12th for construction employment; Colorado is 21st for population, but 14th for construction employment; and Louisiana is 25th for population, but 17th for construction employment.

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Construction’s Interaction With High-Tech is Much More Than the Obvious

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Article source: ConstructConnect

Construction’s interaction with high-tech is much more than the obvious.

2017-12-11-Construction-and-Technology-Graphic

Yes, there are the products (e.g., smart phones) and the processes (e.g., BIM) that factor in, but there is also a wide range of economic issues to consider as well.
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Stock Market Prices Playing Sidekick Role in a ‘Buddy Movie’

Monday, November 13th, 2017

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

Monday, November 6th, 2017

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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13 Mid-September Economic Nuggets

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

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.

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Chief Economist Alex Carrick Shares Outlook on 2018

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

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

Monday, October 16th, 2017


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

Friday, October 13th, 2017

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.

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U.S. September Jobs Report Delivers a ‘Sit Up and Pay Attention’ Moment

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Article source: ConstructConnect

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has just delivered a ‘sit up and pay attention’ moment. Its September Employment Situation report records a month-to-month deterioration (-33,000) in the total number of U.S. jobs for the first time in seven years, dating back to September 2010 (-52,000).

2017-10-06-US-Labor-Graphic

Before economy watchers start gnashing their teeth or bemoaning too loudly, the BLS is quick to point out that there was a special circumstance – horrific weather – that caused the employment downfall.

The jobs numbers are derived from a survey of payrolls. Employees in Texas and Florida who missed receiving paychecks early in September due to the fierce onslaughts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were accorded out-of-work status.

Hence, September’s jobs numbers fell prey to two unique but in many way twin events. There will almost certainly be distortions in October’s numbers as well, but in the opposite direction, as rebuilding rebound effects come into play. (more…)

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