A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Materials costs fall; job openings rise but hiring dips; age cohort shifts pose challengesEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.View the November PPI table here.The producer price index (PPI) for finished goods fell 0.5%, not seasonally adjusted (-0.1%, seasonally adjusted), in November and edged up just 0.7% over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday. The PPI for inputs to construction – a weighted average of the cost of all materials used in construction plus items consumed by contractors such as diesel fuel—also dropped 0.5% for the month and rose 1.1% year-over-year. The PPIs for inputs to different types of construction all declined for the month and increased only slightly year-over-year:  
Ken Simonson's picture
December 16, 2013
Construction employment rises again; Fed, IHS surveys find worker-shortage worriesEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 203,000, seasonally adjusted, in November and 2,293,000 (1.7%) over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday. Construction employment rose for the sixth straight month, to a 51-month high of 5,851,000, up 17,000 from October and up 178,000 (3.1%) over the past year. Total hours worked (aggregate weekly hours) in construction since November 2012 increased by slightly more (3.4% ), implying that contractors are no longer extending hours per worker as much as they had earlier in the year.  
Ken Simonson's picture
December 06, 2013
Construction spending, number of metros with job gains rise in October Editor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.View October metro employment figures by state and rank here.Construction spending in October totaled $909 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up 0.8% from the September total and up 5.3% from October 2012, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday. The number was the highest since May 2009, but only because initially higher estimates for August and July were revised down by $11 billion and $7 billion, respectively. The gain since September was attributable to a 3.9% rise in public construction spending, which also climbed 2.3% compared with October 2012. Nevertheless, the year-to-date total for public construction was 2.8% below the total for the first 10 months of 2012 combined. Private residential spending slipped 0.6% for the month, but rose 18% year-over-year and 17% year-to-date. Private nonresidential spending decreased 0.5% from September and 3.4% from October 2012, but was up 0.8% year-to-date.  
Ken Simonson's picture
December 02, 2013
Job gains spread to 39 states; material, labor costs remain mild; starts rise, MHC saysEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.In October, seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment increased from a year earlier in 49 states and decreased in Alaska and the District of Columbia, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Seasonally adjusted construction employment climbed in 39 states—the largest total in 18 months—and declined in 11 states and D.C., an AGC analysis showed.  
Ken Simonson's picture
November 25, 2013
Budget cuts hit federal, supplier demand for space; suburban, medical offices pick upEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.Federal budget cuts are affecting demand for space by both the government and its suppliers. On Thursday, Lockheed Martin announced it “plans to close its operations in Newtown, Pa.; Akron, Ohio; Goodyear, Ariz.; and Horizon City, Texas; and four buildings on its Sunnyvale, Calif., campus….Since 2008, Lockheed Martin has…removed 1.5 million square feet of facility space….The facility closures announced today will further reduce the Corporation’s operational footprint by nearly 2.5 million square feet of facility space.” Also on Thursday, the Washington Business Journal reported, “In the past year, the federal government has shed roughly 831,800 square feet of space in an effort to downsize and move into more efficient buildings, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s annual Federal Perspective report.”  
Ken Simonson's picture
November 18, 2013
Construction hits 50-month high in employment, adds to private and public GDP gainsEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 204,000, seasonally adjusted, in October and 2,329,000 (1.7%) over 12 months as the estimates for August and September were revised substantially up, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday. Construction employment rose for the fifth straight month, to a 50-month high of 5,834,000, up 11,000 from September and up 185,000 (3.3%) over the past year. Total hours worked (aggregate weekly hours) in construction increased by 3.8% since October 2012, implying that contractors are extending working hours slightly as well as hiring new workers.  
Ken Simonson's picture
November 11, 2013
MHC sees starts improving in 2014; PPI stays mild in September; latest price trends varyEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.Click here to view September PPI table. "For 2013, total construction starts are estimated to rise 5%,” McGraw Hill Construction (MHC) reported in its 2014 Dodge Construction Outlook on October 25. For 2014, “it’s forecast that total construction starts will climb 9%....Single-family housing will grow 26% in dollars, corresponding to a 24% increase in units…Multifamily housing will rise 11% in dollars and 9% in units. While growth continues, the percentage gains will be smaller than the previous four years, reflecting a maturing multifamily market.  
Ken Simonson's picture
November 04, 2013
September Employment, August Spending, Beige Book, AIA Reports are Positive OverallEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 148,000, seasonally adjusted, in September and 2,225,000 (1.7%) over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Tuesday. Construction employment totaled 5,826,000, up 20,000 from August and up by 193,000 (3.4%) over the past year. Total hours worked in construction (aggregate weekly hours) increased by 4.2% since September 2012, implying that contractors are extending working hours slightly as well as hiring new workers. Residential construction employment (residential building and specialty trade contractors) climbed by 54,300 for the month and 103,300 (5.0%) for the year.  
Ken Simonson's picture
October 28, 2013
Editor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.Starts, planned projects grew last month, MHC says; office, hospital markets look shakyNew construction starts in September jumped 13% from August at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, McGraw Hill Construction (MHC) reported yesterday. “Nonresidential building bounced back after losing momentum in August, and the nonbuilding construction sector was lifted by the start of several large power plants, which ran counter to the sharply downward trend for electric utilities that’s been present during 2013.  For the first nine months of 2013, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were reported…up 2% from the same period a year ago. If electric utilities are excluded from the year-to-date statistics, total construction starts in the first nine months of 2013 would be up 11%....The 2% gain for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis during the January-September period of 2013 reflected a mixed pattern by the three main construction sectors.  
Ken Simonson's picture
October 17, 2013
Editor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.Federal closure has varied construction impacts; most metros, states add jobs Please join Ken, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker and Reed Construction Data’s Chief U.S. Economist, Bernard Markstein for a complimentary webinar on construction outlook  on Thursday, Oct. 17.The partial federal government shutdown has both immediate and longer-term consequences for construction. AGC’s Federal Government Shutdown Resource Center has information regarding numerous federal agencies and programs, such as the E-Verify program that many employers use to check workers’ immigration status. Highway construction funded in part by the Highway Trust Fund is not affected. But federal agencies that directly award construction contracts or that issue permits are not operating. Review of applications for the Keystone XL pipeline and liquefied natural gas export terminals is not proceeding. The Census Bureau did not issue its construction spending report on October 1, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics will not report on employment as scheduled on Friday.  
Ken Simonson's picture
October 07, 2013