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From the category archives: Construction Economics

Construction Economics

National Construction Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.5 Percent, the Lowest June Rate on Record

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1—In June, the not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, down 0.1 percent from a year ago and the lowest June rate on record, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to an analysis released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), NSA construction unemployment rates were down in 31 states on a year-over-year basis, and the construction industry employed 204,000 more workers than in June 2016.  Because these industry-specific rates are not seasonally adjusted, national and state-level unemployment rates are best evaluated on a year-over-year basis.   “Not only was this the lowest national not seasonally adjusted June construction unemployment rate on record, but all the states had estimated construction unemployment rates below 10 percent,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “T ... Read the rest of entry »

Construction Material Prices Fall Further in October

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 13- The Producer Price Index for inputs to construction industries declined for a fourth consecutive month in October, according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The index stands at its lowest level since the first quarter of 2011 as prices for construction inputs declined 0.2 percent on a monthly basis and 4.6 percent on a year-ago basis. Nonresidential construction input prices exhibit a similar pattern, falling 0.3 percent since last month and 5.1 percent over the past twelve months. Nine of 11 key input prices are down on a year-over-year basis.
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Construction’s Percentage Job Gains Lead All Economic Sectors in October

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 6—The U.S. construction industry added more jobs in October than during the previous four months combined, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Construction employment expanded by 31,000 net new jobs last month after adding 12,000 jobs in September (revised upward from 8,000). Nonresidential construction employment increased by 20,100 jobs in October after adding 11,100 jobs in September (revised upward from 6,800).
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Construction Employment Rises Despite Lackluster National Jobs Report

U.S. construction industry employment edged higher in September despite a disappointing jobs report for the overall U.S. economy. The number of construction jobs expanded by 8,000 on a net basis in September, with nonresidential builders and specialty trade contractors collectively creating 6,800 of those net new jobs. The number of jobs in the heavy and civil engineering category declined by 2,200, however. “Construction was one of the few bright spots in today’s report as residential and nonresidential construction remain two of the nation’s five leading growth segments,” said Anirban Basu, Associated Builders and Contractors’ chief economist. “The industry’s unemployment rate is down 1.5 percentage points from September 2014 and is essentially at its lowest point in eight years. There are 125,000 fewer unemployed construction workers than there were one year ago, and construction employment is up by 205,000 positions on a year-over-year basis, one of the best pe ... Read the rest of entry »

Construction Material Prices Plunge in September

Prices for inputs to construction industries plunged 1.6 percent in September after shedding 0.9 percent in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Year-over-year prices were down 5.3 percent for the month, the largest yearly decrease since October of 2009. Inputs to nonresidential construction prices also declined, losing 1.6 percent for the month and 6 percent for the year. Only three of the 11 key input prices expanded on a monthly basis in September, while six experienced double-digit year-over-year declines, according to analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors.   “The global economy has continued to soften in recent weeks, with additional concerns directed at formerly fast-growing nations like China, Brazil and Russia,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Europe continues to muddle along and the Canadian economy remains relatively flat. All of this has conspired to weaken demand for global commodities even as supply of many inputs continues to be eleva ... Read the rest of entry »

Construction Input Prices Trend Lower in July

Prices for inputs to construction industries declined 0.1 percent in July after increasing 0.2 percent in June, according to the Aug. 14 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Year-over-year prices were down 3 percent in July and have been down on an annual basis for each of the past eight months. Prices of inputs to nonresidential construction industries declined 0.3 percent on a monthly basis and are down 3.9 percent on a yearly basis. 

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Nonresidential Construction Growth Continues in May

The U.S. construction industry added 17,000 jobs in May according to the June 5 preliminary estimate released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. April’s estimate was revised downward from 45,000 to 35,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 8,200 jobs in May, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors adding 5,600 jobs and nonresidential building employment expanding by 2,600 jobs. Residential construction employment added 8,500 net new jobs for the month.   
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Construction Materials Prices up for May, Down for Year

Prices for inputs to construction industries expanded by 1.1 percent in May, the largest month-over-month increase in more than two years and only the third time in the past 10 months that construction input prices have grown on a monthly basis. Year-over-year prices fell by 3 percent in May and have now fallen by more than 3 percent in each of the year’s first five months. The last time this occurred was the third and fourth quarter of 2009. Only three of the 11 key construction inputs—nonferrous wire and cable, crude petroleum and crude energy materials—experienced monthly price increases in May. 
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