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.

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

PPIs for building inputs rise in May but fall for year; industry employment stalls 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 June, not seasonally adjusted, increased 0.7% from May but only 0.3% year-over-year (y/y) from June 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, increased 0.1% for the month and 2.0% 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 2.0% y/y.    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: July 8-14, 2016

Spending slips in May but rises year-to-date; surveys find divergent material prices

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 spending in May totaled $1.143 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, down 0.8% from April but up 2.8% year-over-year, the Census Bureau reported on Friday. Monthly levels for January-April were revised up by $18-23 billion (1.6-2.0%), and levels for 2014 and 2015 were also revised. Unusually mild winter weather and extremely rainy weather in parts of the country in May might have thrown off monthly totals. Combined January-May year-to-date (YTD) spending was 8.2% higher than in the same months of 2015. Public construction dropped 2.3% for the month but climbed 3.8% YTD.    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: July 1-7, 2016

The following article originally appeared in the July 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.

While Brexit and its implications globally are still being analyzed and debated, the United Kingdom’s decision to separate itself from the European Union is seen as a positive, and necessary, move.  While it will stunt the growth of Europe in the short term, to paraphrase Dr. Bill Gilmer with the Institute for Regional Forecasting, the train wreck is unavoidable so at least they are off the train.   Read more » about Houston’s Monthly Metrics: July 2016

Most metros add jobs through May; NAHB finds widespread craft-worker shortages

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 May 2015 to May 2016 in 227 (63%) of the 358 metro areas (including divisions of larger metros) for which BLS provides construction employment data, decreased in 83 (23%) and was stagnant in 48, according to an AGC release and map on Wednesday. (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 (14,700 construction jobs, 17%), followed by Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (9,700 construction jobs, 16%); and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale (7,200 construction jobs, 7%). The largest percentage gains again occurred in Monroe, Mich. (30%, 700 combined jobs), followed by Urban Honolulu (20%, 4,900 combined jobs), Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine and the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall division (17%, 6,800 construction jobs).    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: June 24-30, 2016

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