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Nonres starts, materials prices show mixed trends in January, multiple sources showEditor’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 value of nonresidential construction starts jumped 11% from January 2014 to January 2015, CMD (formerly Reed Construction Data) reported on Wednesday, based on data it collected. Heavy engineering starts surged 48%, while nonresidential building starts shrank 8.3%, with commercial building starts down 10% and institutional building starts up 0.1%.Investment research firm Thompson Research Group issued a summary of its monthly survey of building products firms on Wednesday. "With the precipitous drop in energy prices, we remain focused on how this impacts building product manufacturers' ability to pass on pricing.  
Ken Simonson's picture
February 16, 2015
Construction employment rises nationally in January and in most metros in DecemberEditor’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 257,000 in January, seasonally adjusted, and by 3,207,000 (2.3%) over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday. Construction employment rose by 39,000 for the month and 308,000 (5.1%) over the year to 6,314,000, the highest total since February 2009. Residential construction employment (residential building and specialty trade contractors) climbed by 20,100 for the month and 162,400 (7.2%) over 12 months.   
Ken Simonson's picture
February 10, 2015
Employment rises in 40 states in December; materials cost reports are mixedEditor’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.Seasonally adjusted construction employment increased in 40 states and the District of Columbia from December 2013 to December 2014 and decreased in 10 states, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released on Tuesday showed. Texas again added the most jobs (47,500 jobs, 7.7%), followed by Florida (34,300, 8.9%) and California (26,000, 4.0%). The largest percentage gains again occurred in North Dakota (26%, 8,300 jobs) and Utah (13%, 10,100), followed by Wisconsin (12.7%, 12,400) and Arkansas (12.6%, 5,800). The largest percentage losses again occurred in West Virginia (-9.1%, -3,000 jobs) and Mississippi (-7.5%, -4,000), followed by Hawaii (-4.5%, -1,400 jobs) and Arizona (-3.4%, -4,300). Arizona lost the most jobs, followed by Mississippi and West Virginia. For the month, 38 states and D.C. added construction jobs, 10 states lost jobs, and Indiana and New Mexico had no change. In much of the country, gains may have been aided by weather that was unseasonably mild in December 2014 and unusually severe in November and in December 2013.   
Ken Simonson's picture
February 02, 2015
Contractors, corporate economists show optimism; 2014 Dodge starts rose moderatelyEditor’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.Contractors are more optimistic about the overall state of construction in 2015 than in the previous five years, according to an annual Construction Outlook Survey that AGC released on Wednesday. Of the 912 respondents from AGC member companies, 80% said they expect an increase in their firms' headcount in 2015, while only 7% expect a decrease. About 60% expect the construction market to grow in 2015, while 21% expect growth to resume in 2016. Respondents were asked if they expect the dollar volume that they compete for to be higher or lower in 2015. Predictions of higher volume outnumber lower   
Ken Simonson's picture
January 27, 2015
PPI falls in 2014; mixed price changes loom; nonresidential construction pay acceleratesEditor’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.If you have not already, please help AGC craft its 2015 Construction Business Outlook and take this short survey.The producer price index (PPI) for final demand decreased 0.4%, not seasonally adjusted (-0.3%, seasonally adjusted), in December and increased 1.1% for the year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Thursday. AGC posted an explanation and tables focusing on construction prices and costs. Final demand includes goods, services and five types of nonresidential buildings that BLS says make up 34% of total construction. There are no indexes yet for other building types, or for residential or nonbuilding construction.   
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January 19, 2015
Jobs added in 2014 are most since 2005; union pay raises inch up; retail metrics improveEditor’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.If you have not already, please help AGC craft its 2015 Construction Business Outlook and take this short survey.Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 252,000 in December, seasonally adjusted, and by 2,952,000 (2.1%) over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday. Construction employment rose by 48,000 for the month and 290,000 (4.9%) over the year to 6,166,000, the highest total since March 2009 and the largest annual increase since 2005. Residential construction employment (residential building and specialty trade contractors) climbed by 13,500 for the month and 132,100 (6.0%) for the year.   
Ken Simonson's picture
January 12, 2015
Construction spending slips in November; two-thirds of metros add jobs in yearEditor’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.Construction spending in November totaled $975 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, down 0.3% from the upwardly revised rate in October and up 2.4% from November 2013, the Census Bureau reported on Monday. Private residential spending rose 0.9% for the month but slipped 0.5% over the latest 12 months; private nonresidential spending dipped 0.3% month-over-month but grew 4.7% year-over- year; and public construction spending fell fell 1.7% and rose 3.2%, respectively.   
Ken Simonson's picture
January 05, 2015
Most states add jobs but remain below peak; Dodge reports surge in 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.Seasonally adjusted construction employment increased in 38 states and the District of Columbia from November 2013 to November 2014 and decreased in 12 states, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released last Friday showed. Texas added the most jobs (47,300 jobs, 7.7%), followed by California (40,800, 6.3%) and Florida (34,900, 9.1%). The largest percentage gains were in North Dakota (16%, 5,300 jobs), Utah (10%, 7,600) and Florida. The largest percentage losses occurred in West Virginia (-11%, -3,800 jobs), Mississippi (-7.9%, -4,200), New Jersey (-4.5%, -6,200), and Nebraska (-4.1%, -1,900). New Jersey lost the most jobs, followed by Arizona (-4,600, -3.7%), Mississippi and West Virginia. For the month, 26 states and D.C. added construction jobs, 22 states lost jobs, and Idaho and Missouri had no change. Only North Dakota, Oklahoma and Louisiana have topped pre-recession construction employment peaks. (BLS combines mining and logging with construction in D.C., Nebraska and five other states to avoid disclosing data for industries with few firms.)  
Ken Simonson's picture
December 22, 2014
PPI falls in November as diesel price plunges; mixed moves foreseen for materials costsEditor’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 final demand decreased 0.4%, not seasonally adjusted (-0.2%, seasonally adjusted), in November and increased 1.4% over 12 months, BLS reported Friday. AGC posted an explanation and tables focusing on construction prices and costs. Final demand includes goods, services and five types of nonresidential buildings that BLS says make up 34% of total construction. There are no indexes yet for other building types, or for residential or nonbuilding construction. The PPI for final demand construction, not seasonally adjusted, rose 0.1% in November and 2.2% over 12 months. The overall PPI for new nonresidential building construction—a measure of the price contractors say they would charge to build a fixed set of five categories of buildings—also climbed 0.1% for the month and 2.2% since November 2013.   
Ken Simonson's picture
December 17, 2014
Construction employment hits 5½ year high in November; spending climbs in OctoberEditor’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 321,000 in December, seasonally adjusted, and by 2,734,000 (2.0%) over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday. Construction employment rose by 20,000 for the month and 213,000 (3.6%) over the year to 6,109,000, the highest total since April 2009. Residential construction employment (residential building and specialty trade contractors) climbed by 16,700 for the month and 122,800 (5.6%) for the year. Nonresidential employment (building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction) increased by 3,600 in November and 90,100 (2.4%) year-over-year. Average hourly earnings for all employees in construction rose 2.7% from November 2013 to November 2014, the largest year-over-year increase since September 2009 and double the 1.3% increase recorded a year earlier. The number of jobseekers who last worked in construction hit an eight-year low of 629,000 and their unemployment rate fell to the lowest November level in seven years:  
Ken Simonson's picture
December 09, 2014