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  • Fri, February 16, 2024 8:52 AM | Anonymous

    U.S. Department of Labor reported that wholesale prices rose more than expected in January. The producer price index (PPI), a measure of prices received by producers of domestic goods and services, rose 0.3% for the month, the biggest move since August ‘23. Economists had expected a smaller rise of just 0.1 percent. The biggest drivers of the increase were prices of services, which rose 0.6 percent from the prior month, the largest advance since July of 2023. Core producer prices (excluding food and energy), increased 0.5%, also much higher than expected. The core element of (PPI) better approximates the costs associated with construction matters vs. the broader consumer price index (CPI). With regard to CPI, this latest DOL report comes just days since that measure’s increase showed inflation holding higher despite Fed efforts to moderate the index during the past year. [I.e., CPI was up 3.1% from a year ago, well ahead of the Fed’s goal for 2% inflation].

  • Mon, February 05, 2024 10:32 AM | Anonymous

    BLS’s January 2024 report leaped out of the gates to start the year off with an increase of 353,000 new positions. (Well above the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). But, not all the news was as rosy when broken down, particularly with the surge of “part-time” work replacing full-time jobs (also reflected in the decrease in workweek hours down to 34.1), thus masking potential slowing.  As for construction, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate came-in at 6.9 percent for January. [The new unemployment figure is up 2.5 basis points vs. December; but is identical to January 2022’s number].  Currently, employment showed little change over the month in construction like some other major industries.  
     
    The general unemployment level, remained unchanged for the third month in a row, at 3.7 percent. (“Unemployed persons” was down a bit at 6.1 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” stayed steady at 62.5 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate “typically” works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer counted as unemployed by the DOL).  The “employment to population ratio” rose by a slight 0.1 basis to 60.2 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continued to increase after a solid 2023, and now stands at $29.66 for private sector production and non-supervisory employees.   SEE Workforce Statistics Chart  

  • Mon, January 29, 2024 2:48 PM | Anonymous

    The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported: Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023 (table 1), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 4.9 percent.

    The GDP estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency. The "second" estimate for the fourth quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on February 28, 2024.  The increase in real GDP reflected increases in consumer spending, exports, state and local government spending, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, private inventory investment, and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased as well.


  • Mon, January 08, 2024 12:42 PM | Anonymous

    BLS’s December 2023 report showed an increase of 216,000 new positions. (Comfortably above the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). However, the non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rate came-in at 4.4 percent for December. [The new unemployment figure is down 0.4 basis points vs. November; but the same as in December 2022].  In December, construction employment continued to trend up (+17,000); with nonresidential building construction having increased by 8,000. For the year, construction added an average of 16,000 jobs per month in 2023, down from the 2022 average monthly gain of 22,000.
     
    The holiday season didn’t seem to impact the general unemployment level, with it remaining unchanged at 3.7 percent. (Similarly, “unemployed persons” was the same at 6.3 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” slipped 0.3 basis points to 62.5 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate “typically” works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer counted as unemployed by the DOL).  The “employment to population ratio” also dropped 0.3 to 60.1 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continued to increase, now stands at $29.42 for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees. 

    SEE Workforce Statistics Chart for comparisons.

  • Fri, December 08, 2023 1:06 PM | Anonymous

    BLS’s November 2023 report registered a 199,000 new positions. (Above the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). However, the non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rate came-in at 4.8 percent for November. [The new unemployment figure is up nearly a full percentage or 0.8 basis points vs. October; and 0.9 basis points above last year’s November 2022 level].  
     
    General unemployment slipped back down 0.2 to 3.7 percent. (Conversely, “unemployed persons” was up to 6.3 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” inched up to 62.8 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate “typically” works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer counted as unemployed by the DOL).  The “employment to population ratio” bounced back 0.3 to 60.5 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continue to increase, now standing at $29.30 for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees.     SEE Workforce Statistics Chart

  • Wed, November 08, 2023 10:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BLS’s October 2023 report was somewhat “flat” falling back to only 150,000 new positions. (Within the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). The non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rate came-in at 4.0 percent for October, consistent seasonal slowing work trends. [The new unemployment figure is up by 0.2 basis points vs. September; while down just 0.1 point from last year’s October 2022 level].  In October, construction employment continued to trend up (+23,000), about in line with the average monthly gain of 18,000 over the prior 12 months. Most of the improvements in the month over month concentrated in specialty trade contractors (+14,000) and construction of buildings (+6,000).
     
    General unemployment inched up 0.1 to 3.9 percent. (“Unemployed persons” was up slightly to 6.15 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” slipped to 62.7 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate “typically” works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer counted as unemployed by the DOL).  The “employment to population ratio” fell 0.2 to 60.2 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continue to increase, now standing at $29.19 for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees. 

    SEE the Workforce Statistics Chart for data. 

  • Thu, October 26, 2023 3:51 PM | Anonymous

    Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 4.9 percent in the third quarter of 2023 according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.1 percent. The GDP estimate released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency. The “second” estimate for the third quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on November 29, 2023.  [Note: the rate of GDP was the most robust since the fourth quarter of 2021].

    The increase in real GDP reflected increases in consumer spending, private inventory investment, exports, state and local government spending, federal government spending, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a decrease in nonresidential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.


  • Sat, October 07, 2023 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Employment numbers jumped upward in BLS’s September 2023 report, rebounding sharply to notch 336,000 new positions. (Well above the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). The non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rate came-in at 3.8 percent for September, consistent with seasonal work trends. [The unemployment figure is down by 0.1 basis points vs. August; while up 0.4 point from last year’s September 2022 level].  
    General unemployment stayed the same at 3.8 percent. (“Unemployed persons” remained at 6.4 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” stayed at 62.8 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate “typically” works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer counted as unemployed by the DOL).  The “employment to population ratio” remained at 60.4 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continue to increase, now standing at $29.06 for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees. 

    See the Workforce Statistics Chart.  

  • Fri, September 01, 2023 2:45 PM | Anonymous

    The August employment numbers continued to move upward in BLS’s latest report, however the growth seems to have plateaued at 187,000 new positions. (This figure is close to the 130-150,000 estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). The non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rate came-in at 3.9 percent for August, consistent with summer seasonal work trends. [Essentially, the new unemployment figure is the same vs. July, and last year -- August 2022].  Construction employment continued to trend up in August (+22,000), in line with the average monthly gain over the prior 12 months (+17,000). Within the industry sectors, employment momentum continues in specialty trade contractors (+11,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (+7,000).
     
    General unemployment went up by 0.3 points to 3.8 percent. (“Unemployed persons” was up by 0.6 to 6.4 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” increased by 0.2 points to 62.8 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate “typically” works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer counted as unemployed by the DOL).  The “employment to population ratio” stayed constant at 60.4 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continue to increase, now standing at $29.00 for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees.     SEE Workforce Statistics Chart.

  • Fri, August 04, 2023 1:56 PM | Anonymous

    Employment numbers continued to move upward in BLS’s July 2023 report, however the increase has slowed to 187,000 new positions. (This figure is close to the 130-150,000 estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). The non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rate came-in at 3.9 percent for July, consistent with summer seasonal work trends. [However, the new unemployment figure is worse by 0.3 basis points vs. June; while down 0.4 point from last year, in July 2022].  Construction employment continued to trend up in July (+19,000), in line with the average monthly gain of 17,000 in the prior 12 months. Over the month, job growth occurred mostly in residential specialty trade contractors (+13,000) and in nonresidential building construction (+11,000).
     
    General unemployment slide 0.1 to 3.5 percent. (“Unemployed persons” was down slightly to 5.8 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” stayed at 62.6 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate “typically” works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer counted as unemployed by the DOL).  The “employment to population ratio” rose 0.1 to 60.4 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continue to increase, now standing at $28.96 for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees. 

    SEE Workforce Statistics Chart

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