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Canada’s January Jobs Report Shocks on the Downside

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Article source: ConstructConnect

After exceptional increases in total employment in the final two months of last year – i.e., +81,000 jobs in November and +65,000 jobs in December − January of 2017’s figure of -88,000, as just reported for Canada by Statistics Canada, is a major shock.

The foregoing numbers are based on seasonally adjusted (SA) data. SA versus NSA (not seasonally adjusted) will become important as this article unfolds.

Canada’s January Jobs Report Shocks on the Downside Graphic
To place the latest month in context, January’s steep slide was the most severe since January 2009’s descent of -125,000 jobs. But in January 2009, the Great Recession was feasting on the economy and the resulting devastation in the labour market was not unexpected.

To lose 88,000 jobs when year-over-year GDP has been growing nicely, at a pace of about +3.0%, is quite another matter.

Furthermore, the composition of that drop seems unusual. There was a +49,000 gain in full-time work that was overwhelmed by a -137,000 step-down in part-time jobs.

At no other time since the turn of the century has the month-to-month retreat in part-time jobs been as dramatic as -137,000. The sharpest decline prior to the latest month was only 60% as bad, at -78,000 in March 2011.
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2018’s First Monthly Jobs Report Launches Year in Fine Style

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Article source: ConstructConnect

In January, net new U.S. jobs creation was +200,000, according to the latest Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The +200,000 jobs figure was greater than the monthly average increase throughout last year of +176,000.

The unemployment rate in the latest month stayed the same as in December, at 4.1%. Only rarely in the past has the jobless level been better. The last time it managed to slip below 4.0% was seventeen years ago, in 2000 at the beginning of the new century.

2018-02-05-US-Construction-Labor-GraphicThe ongoing strength in employment continues to find confirmation in the weekly initial jobless claims data. At the height of the Great Recession, the number of first-time unemployment insurance seekers in the economy soared to a truly unpleasant peak of 653,000.

A figure of 300,000 or less is generally considered by analysts to be the benchmark for when the labor market is ticking along smoothly. After the Great Recession, it seemed to take forever for initial jobless claims to recede to the 300,000 level.

The actual length of time that was covered waiting for that magic moment was six years. It occurred for the week ending March 7, 2015.

Oh how things have changed since then!

In four weeks’ time, if initial jobless claims remain low, they will be under 300,000 for 156 weeks in a row, or three straight years. (For January 13, 2018, they were a ‘rock bottom’ 216,000. For the latest week ending January 27, 2018, they were 230,000.)
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U.S. Put-in-Place Construction Spending Forecasts – Heading Into Winter 2017

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Article source: 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.
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Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. – April 2017

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Article source: ConstructConnect

The accompanying table records the top 10 project starts in the U.S. for April 2017.

2017-05-12-Top-10-US-Projects-Apr-2017

There are several reasons for highlighting upcoming large projects. Such jobs have often received a fair amount of media coverage. Therefore, people in the industry are on the lookout for when jobsite work actually gets underway. And, as showcase projects, they highlight geographically where major construction projects are proceeding.

Also, total construction activity is comprised of many small and medium-sized projects and a limited number of large developments. But the largest projects, simply by their nature, can dramatically affect total dollar and square footage volumes. In other words, the timing and size of these projects have an exaggerated influence on market forecasts.
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U.S. Corporate Profit Growth Stymied by Energy Sector Slide

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

Article source: CMDGroup

North America’s major stock market indices have taken investors on a ‘theme park’ ride over the past 12 months − as can be seen from Graph 1. More often than not, it hasn’t been much fun.

There were substantial dips for all four indices – Dow Jones Industrials (DJI), the S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) − in September of last year, followed by recovery for the U.S. series, and then another crater in the January-February period of this year.

Canada’s TSX stayed mainly down once it faltered in the fall of last year.

In the most recent month, however, there were notable improvements once again. At the close of trading in March 2016, the DJI, S&P 500 and NASDAQ were all within 1.0% of their levels achieved a year prior.

The TSX moved +4.9% during the month of March, but was still -9.4% year over year.

Worry has centered on the likely performance of corporate profits. It’s well known that in the energy sector, the low price of oil is taking a heavy toll on the revenues of exploration and extraction companies, as well as their service and material suppliers.

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A Dozen Mid-February Economic Nuggets

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Article source: CMDGroup

Spending time in U.S. stock markets lately has not been a walk in the park. Drooping equity prices are a symptom of assorted maladies. The three that stand out most prominently are as follows. First, a great many people are worried about China’s economy and especially the state of its banking sector. There are thought to be way too many shaky loans in danger of crumbling if growth continues to decelerate. The subsequent drop in value of the yuan won’t be pretty.

Second, on account of a shockingly low international price for oil, investment in the U.S. energy sector has gone into a tailspin, affecting certain regions of the country more severely than others.

And third, the uplift in value of the U.S. dollar is limiting the ability of American manufacturers to win export sales. Some of the nation’s biggest firms are being negatively affected the most.

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States and Provinces Ranked by Year-to-date Non-residential Building Starts

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Article source: CMDGroup

The table accompanying this Economy at a Glance tries something new. It not only ranks U.S. states by year-to-date dollar volumes of non-residential building construction starts, and by year-over-year percentage changes, but adds Canadian provinces to the mix as well.

While the overall population of the United States is much larger than for Canada, 322 million compared with 36 million, the geographic size of most Canadian provinces is larger than for all but a few American states.

Furthermore, the Canadian construction scene is more dominated by mega-sized natural-resource projects − in oil and natural gas, metals and minerals and power generation – although this effect becomes more pronounced in heavy engineering/civil construction work.

In complementary fashion, that will be the subject of the next EAAG.
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AECCafe to exhibit at the 2015 AIA Convention and record video interviews

Monday, April 27th, 2015

We are exhibiting at the 2015 AIA Convention in Atlanta on May 14-15 at our booth #2878 and we are recording video interviews at our booth. Let me know if you want to book a 15-minute time slot for you or someone from your firm. Interview opportunities are open to all attendees, architects, and exhibitors.

You can see past interviews here.

Come by our booth to say hello even if you don’t want to record an interview. We are doing a raffle for a KindleFire and you are most welcome to drop in your business card for a chance to win it.

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The Future of How Visualizations Are Made: Real-time Exploration of Design Data

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Article source: Autodesk

This is a presentation from the 2014 Autodesk University.

 

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Technology Trends with Dell, HP, and Intel: Hosted by Lynn Allen

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Article source: Autodesk

Description

Join AU’s own Lynn Allen for a candid conversation with technologists from Dell, HP, and Intel. Learn how new and emerging technologies are affecting and enhancing the way we work with Autodesk® design and creation suites, and more.

Key Learning

  • Hear near-term technology predictions from technologists from leading companies
  • Learn how leading technology companies approach workstations, cloud computing, mobility, innovation, the Internet of things and big data, and 3D printing

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