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From the category archives: Economics

September Construction Unemployment Rates Down in 30 States Year Over Year

Estimated September construction unemployment rates fell nationally and in 30 states on a year-over-year basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by ABC. The September 2018 not seasonally adjusted national construction unemployment rate fell 0.6 percent from a year ago to 4.1 percent. Read the rest of entry »

Construction Material Prices Rebound in September

Prices for inputs to construction rose 0.3 percent in September and are 7.4 percent higher than a year ago, according to an ABC analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Overall prices for nonresidential construction inputs rose 0.4 percent, reversing last month’s downward trend. Among individual subcategories, softwood lumber prices are down 0.4 percent, yet are up 5.4 percent on a year-over-year basis. Crude petroleum and natural gas prices are both up on a monthly basis, 8.7 and 1.1 percent, respectively.  Read the rest of entry »

Construction Industry Adds 23,000 Jobs in September

The U.S. construction industry added 23,000 net new positions in September, according to an ABC analysis of data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.During the last 12 months, the industry has added 315,000 net new jobs, an increase of 4.5 percent. Nonresidential construction employment expanded by 18,600 net jobs on a monthly basis, while the residential sector added just 4,400 net positions.Though construction unemployment rose to 4.1 percent in September, it remains low by historical standards. National unemployment dropped to 3.7 percent across all industries, the lowest rate since December 1969. Read the rest of entry »

August Construction Unemployment Rates Down in 49 States Year Over Year

Estimated August construction unemployment rates fell nationally and in every state except Colorado on a year-over-year basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by ABC. The August 2018 not seasonally adjusted national construction unemployment rate fell 1.3 percent from a year ago to 3.4 percent. At the same time, the construction industry employed 287,000 more workers nationally compared to August 2017, according to BLS statistics. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Spending Reaches New High in August

National nonresidential construction spending expanded 0.7 percent in August to its highest level since the U.S. Census Bureau began the data series in 2002, according to an ABC analysis. Total nonresidential spending stood at $762.7 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate in August, which represents an increase of 8.4 percent compared to one year ago. Private nonresidential spending fell 0.2 percent in August largely due to a 1.3 percent decline in power-related spending and public nonresidential spending increased 2 percent. Read the rest of entry »

ABC Highlights Economic Benefits of Tax Reform on Small Businesses in Congressional Testimony

Larry Lopez, president and chief executive officer of Green JobWorks, Baltimore, and chairman of ABC’s Diversity Committee, testified today before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access on how recent economic growth is positively impacting local communities. Lopez outlined how small businesses—which account for the majority of U.S. construction firms—are benefiting because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other pro-business policies implemented by Congress and the Trump administration. Read the rest of entry »

Contractors Remain Upbeat in Q2, According to ABC’s Latest Construction Confidence Index

Construction contractors remained confident during the second quarter of 2018, according to the latest Construction Confidence Index released today by ABC. More than three in four construction firms expect that sales will continue to rise over the next six months, while three in five expect higher profit margins. More than seven in 10 expect to bolster staffing levels, though that proportion has fallen relative to the previous quarter, perhaps in part due to the skilled labor shortage in the United States.  Read the rest of entry »

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Hits a New High in Second Quarter of 2018

ABC reports that its Construction Backlog Indicator expanded to a record 9.9 months during the second quarter of 2018. Backlog is up 12.2 percent from the first quarter and 14 percent compared to the same time last year. “Construction backlog has never been higher in the history of this series,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “While contractors collectively reported a higher backlog, it was the industrial contractor segment that had the largest increase in the second quarter.” Read the rest of entry »

Construction Employment Retains Momentum in August

The U.S. construction industry added 23,000 net new jobs in August, an increase from the 18,000 net new jobs added in July, according to an ABC analysis of data supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry has added 297,000 net new jobs since August 2017, a 4.3 percent increase. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 9,600 net jobs in August, although the heavy and civil engineering category lost 200 net jobs for the month. Read the rest of entry »

Construction Material Prices Fall in August

Prices for inputs to construction fell 0.5 percent in August but are 8.1 percent higher than at the same time one year ago, according to an ABC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Nonresidential construction input prices fell 0.4 percent in August but are up 8.3 percent year-over-year. Softwood lumber prices plummeted 9.6 percent in August yet are up 5 percent on a yearly basis (down from a 19.5 percent increase year-over-year in July). Read the rest of entry »
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