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Construction PPIs are calm in May; building suppliers signal rises but metal prices slipEditor’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 the May PPI tables.The producer price index (PPI) for finished goods climbed 0.5%, not seasonally adjusted (and seasonally adjusted), in May and 1.7% over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. 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—was flat for the month and rose just 0.8% year-over-year.
June 17, 2013
Job gains resume in May; spending grows in April; Beige Book notes expansionEditor’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 175,000, seasonally adjusted, in May and 2,115,000 (1.6%) over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Construction employment rose by 7,000 for the month and totaled 5,804,000, seasonally adjusted, the highest mark since August 2009 and a gain of 189,000 (3.4%) over the past year. Total hours worked in construction increased by 5.2% over 12 months, implying that contractors are lengthening working hours and also hiring new workers. Residential construction employment (residential building and specialty trade contractors) rose by 5,500, seasonally adjusted, for the month and 94,400 (4.6%) for the year. Nonresidential employment (building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction) rose by 1,700 and 95,500 (2.7%), respectively. Architectural and engineering services employment, a harbinger of future demand for construction, rose 2.1% over the year. The unemployment rate for jobseekers who last worked in construction tumbled to the lowest May level in five years--10.8%, down from 14.2% in May 2012 and a May high of 20.1% in 2010. The number of unemployed former construction workers shrank by 259,000 over the year, implying that workers are leaving the industry as well as being rehired. (Industry unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted and should only be compared year-over-year, not across months.)
June 10, 2013
Half of metros gain construction jobs in past year; Reed says starts sag from a year agoEditor’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 April metro employment tables. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in April from a year earlier in 274 out of 372 metropolitan areas, decreased in 88 and remained unchanged in 10, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Wednesday. An AGC analysis showed that of the 339 metro areas (including divisions of larger metros) for which BLS reports construction employment, 170 had increases, 123 had decreases and 46 were stagnant. (BLS combines mining and logging with construction in most metros to avoid disclosing data about industries with few employees. Metro data is not seasonally adjusted.) Pascagoula, Miss. again added the highest percentage of new construction jobs (45%, 1,700 combined jobs), followed by Napa, Calif. (36%, 800 combined jobs)
June 03, 2013
Most states added construction jobs last year but not in April; starts fell, 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.Click here to view April PPI table and here to view April state employment data.In April, seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment increased from a year earlier in 47 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in three states, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on May 17. Seasonally adjusted construction employment climbed in 29 states and fell in 21 states and the District of Columbia, an AGC analysis showed. Hawaii had the largest percentage gain in construction jobs (11.5%, 3,300 jobs), followed by Alaska (9.1%, 1,500 jobs) and Louisiana (8.1%, 10,200 jobs). California added the most new construction jobs over the past 12 months (44,800, 7.7%), followed by Texas (41,500 jobs, 7.1%). Vermont lost the highest percentage (-11.3%, -1,700 jobs), followed by South Dakota (-9.6%, -2,100 jobs) and Rhode Island (-8.6%, -1,400 jobs). Illinois lost the most jobs (-12,900 jobs, -6.8%), followed by Ohio (-9,200 jobs, -5.0%) and Indiana (-5,600 jobs, -4.4%).
May 28, 2013
PPI, other cost measures show little change; housing starts tumble but permits soarEditor’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.The producer price index (PPI) for finished goods dropped 0.3%, not seasonally adjusted (-0.7%, seasonally adjusted), in April and 0.6% over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Wednesday. 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—slipped 0.1% for the month and inched up just 0.4% year-over-year. Inputs for residential construction were flat for the month and increased 1.4% in price over the year
May 20, 2013
Construction jobs, spending shrink in latest month but rise for year; metros vary widelyEditor’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 construction employment figures by state and rank.Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 165,000, seasonally adjusted, in April and 2,077,000 (1.6%) over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The March gain, initially reported as a weak 88,000, was revised up to 138,000. The unemployment rate was 7.1%, not seasonally adjusted (7.5%, seasonally adjusted), down from 7.7% a year earlier. Construction employment dipped by 6,000 for the month, following 10 consecutive monthly increases, and totaled 5,790,000, seasonally adjusted, a gain of 154,000 (2.7%) over the past year. Total hours worked in construction increased by 3.0% over 12 months, implying that contractors are lengthening working hours and also hiring new workers.
May 07, 2013
Construction has mixed impact on first-quarter GDP; AIA, NABE surveys point to upturnEditor’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. Real (net of inflation) gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.5% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in the first quarter of 2013, after growing 0.4% in the prior quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported on Wednesday. Real private investment in nonresidential structures (including wells and mines) slipped 0.3%, after jumping 17% in the fourth quarter. Real residential investment climbed 13%, following a 18% gain. Real government investment in structures shrank for the 10th consecutive quarter, at a 5.6% rate, following a 2.6% decline. The price index for private nonresidential structures posted a 1.5% increase at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, similar to the previous quarter’s 1.4% rise. The price index for residential investment accelerated to 5.2% from 3.0% as strong demand from single- and multifamily builders pushed up prices for homebuilding materials. The price index for government investment rose at a 2.3% rate, up from 1.7%.
April 29, 2013
More than half of states add construction jobs in March; Reed, MHC differ on startsEditor’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 March state employment numbers.In March, seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment increased from a year earlier in 49 states and the District of Columbia and dipped by 0.1% (5,800 jobs) in Pennsylvania, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Seasonally adjusted construction employment climbed in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fell in 19 states. Alaska had the largest percentage increase (11.4%, 1,900 jobs), followed by Hawaii (10.7%, 3,100 jobs), Utah (8.7%, 6,000 jobs) and Louisiana (8.6%, 10,700 jobs), AGC reported. California added the most new construction jobs over the past 12 months (41,000, 7.1%), followed by Texas (39,800, 6.9%). Rhode Island lost the highest percentage (-9.6%, -1,600 jobs), followed by Montana (-8.1%, -1,900 jobs).
April 22, 2013
Materials costs diverge as bid prices stay flat for building contractors, drop for highwaysEditor’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 the March PPI tables and metro employment figures by state and rank.The producer price index (PPI) for finished goods rose 0.2%, not seasonally adjusted (and fell 0.6%, seasonally adjusted), in March and 1.1% over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. 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—was unchanged for the month and up 0.9% year-over-year. Indexes for most new nonresidential building construction and subcontractors’ work were similarly flat. The PPIs for new offices, industrial buildings and warehouses were flat in March and rose just 1.0%, 1.1% and 2.3%, respectively, over 12 months.
April 15, 2013
Construction jobs, spending continue gains; outlook varies for factories, offices, apts.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.Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 88,000, seasonally adjusted, in March and 1,910,000 (1.4%) over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The unemployment rate was 7.6%, not seasonally adjusted (and seasonally adjusted), down from 8.4% a year earlier. Construction employment rose for the tenth straight month and totaled 5,802,000, seasonally adjusted, the most since September 2009. Construction employment rose 162,000 (2.9%) from March 2012, while total hours worked in construction increased by 3.9%, implying that contractors are lengthening working hours and also hiring new workers. The unemployment rate for former construction workers dropped from 17.2%, not seasonally adjusted, in March 2012 to 14.7%. Residential construction employment (residential building and specialty trade contractors) rose by 14,800, seasonally adjusted, for the month and 77,800 (3.8%) for the year. Nonresidential employment (building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction) climbed by 3,000 and 84,400 (2.3%), respectively.Construction spending in February totaled $885 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate,
April 05, 2013