The current and future economy, trends in design and construction, political influence – sometimes we have something to say about topics which may be signs of things to come.

A tech startup has just launched hardware coupled with cloud-based software designed to allow employers in the construction industry to conduct real-time monitoring of conditions that could cause health problems for the workers on their jobsites.

As with any industry, there are certain health risks associated with construction. That's why the developers of this monitoring system are hopeful the technology can find widespread acceptance. Respiratory illnesses, skin problems due to exposure to certain substances, and high levels of noise and vibrations are included in the monitoring system’s calculations.

One of the system's developers said the monitoring should improve the overall health of workers, which of course means there is self-interest for companies investing in it as well.    Read more » about High-Tech Monitors for Health and Safety on Construction Sites

39 states add construction jobs in latest 12 months; reports on July starts diverge

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.

Seasonally adjusted construction employment rose in 39 states from July 2015 to July 2016, declined in 11 states and was unchanged in the District of Columbia, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released on Friday showed. The highest percentage gains occurred in Iowa (17%, 12,800 jobs), followed by Hawaii (13%, 4,500), Idaho (13%, 4,800), Colorado (11%, 16,100), Arizona (8.6%, 10,900) and Massachusetts (8.4%, 11,600). Iowa and Massachusetts set new records. California again added the most jobs (29,100 jobs, 4.0%), followed by Florida (16,400, 6.1%), Colorado, Iowa and Massachusetts. North Dakota again lost the highest percentage of construction jobs (-8.5%, -2,900), followed by Wyoming (-7.5%, -1,700) and Kansas (-7.3%, -4,400). Kansas lost the largest number of construction jobs, followed by North Dakota, Alabama (-2,400, -3.0%) and Kentucky (-2,300, -3.0%). From June to July, seasonally adjusted construction employment increased in 23 states and D.C., shrank in 26 states, and was unchanged in Alaska.    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: August 15-22, 2016

PPIs show little change in July; job growth resumes; openings rise as hiring dips in June

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.

The producer price index (PPI) for final demand in July, not seasonally adjusted, decreased 0.3% from June and 0.2% year-over-year (y/y) from July 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. AGC posted tables and an explanation 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. The PPI for final demand construction, not seasonally adjusted, declined 0.6% for the month but rose 0.8% y/y. The PPI for new nonresidential building construction—a measure of the price that contractors say they would charge to build a fixed set of five categories of buildings—also rose 0.8% y/y. Changes ranged from -0.4% y/y for industrial building construction to 0.1% for schools, 0.9% for healthcare buildings, 1.4% for office buildings and 1.5% for warehouses.    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: August 5-12, 2016

Employment rises in 64% of metros; spending drops in June but grows year-to-date

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.

Construction employment, not seasonally adjusted, increased from June 2015 to June 2016 in 228 (64%) of the 358 metro areas (including divisions of larger metros) for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides construction employment data, decreased in 82 (23%) and was stagnant in 48, according to an AGC release and map on Tuesday. (BLS combines mining and logging with construction in most metros.) The Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. division again added the most jobs during the past year (12,500 construction jobs, 14%), followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood (10,700 construction jobs, 11%) and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale (9,900 construction jobs, 10%).    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: August 1-4, 2016

The following article originally appeared in the August newsletter to clients of Kiley Advisors, LLC for the purpose of providing the latest leading indicators and industry issues to those clients.  Reprinted with permission.

A tale of two market segments. As the second quarter numbers begin to role in, the precipitous drop of Class A general purpose office space construction and the rocketing growth of retail construction become increasingly clear. While the office market is breaking records in the amount of sublease space available (a 20 year high according to CBRE), and experiencing its first quarter of negative absorption in over five years, retail is thriving, with the strongest single quarter absorption since 2007 – nearly 1.5 msf, a record high occupancy rate and over 3 msf under construction, of which 85% is preleased.   Read more » about Houston’s Monthly Metrics: August 2016

Construction pay rises at fastest rate since 2008, BLS finds; cost reports for July vary

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.

Compensation costs (wages, salaries and benefits, including required employer payments such as unemployment and workers compensation) in private industry in the second quarter of 2016 (Q2) increased 0.6%, seasonally adjusted (and also 0.6% in Q1), and 2.4% over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. Wages and salaries rose 0.6% in Q2 (vs. 0.7% in Q1) and 2.6% over 12 months. Compensation in construction increased 0.8% in Q2 (vs. 0.5% in Q1) and 2.5% over 12 months, the largest three- and 12-month increases since 2008.    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: July 25-29, 2016

June construction jobs grow year-over-year in 39 states; starts are mixed, Dodge says

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.

Seasonally adjusted construction employment rose in 39 states from June 2015 to June 2016 and declined in 11 states and the District of Columbia, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released today showed. The highest percentage gains again occurred in Hawaii (16%, 5,500 jobs), Iowa (16%, 12,200), Oklahoma (8.9%, 6,900), Arizona (8.7%, 11,000) and Nevada (8.7%, 6,000). Iowa and Oklahoma set new records. California again added the most jobs (32,300 jobs, 4.5%), followed by Florida (25,500, 5.9%), Colorado (13,200, 8.9%), Washington (12,500, 8.9%), Iowa and Georgia (12,200, 7.3%). North Dakota again lost the highest percentage and number of construction jobs (-12%, -4,300), followed in percentage lost by Wyoming (-6.6%, -1,500), Maine (-6.5%, -1,700), and Kansas (-6.1%, -3,700), and followed in number of jobs lost by Kansas and Alabama (-2,100, -2.6%). From May to June, seasonally adjusted construction employment increased in 23 states and D.C., shrank in 25 states, and was unchanged in Illinois and Vermont.   Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: July 15-22, 2016

The Construction Citizen team is interested to see what long-term effect the recent vote by the Brits to leave the European Union will have on the building industry in the U.K. So far, there is no doubt things will be worse at least in the short term.

Via Bloomberg News:

Building output fell 2.1 percent in May, almost double the decline forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. There were falls in almost every category of work, with private housing down the most in more than a year.   Read more » about Construction Prospects in the U.K. Look Worse After Brexit Vote

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