In February, the U.S. recorded its biggest month-to-month jump in total employment in more than a year-and-a-half, according to the latest Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A monthly net increase in jobs of +170,000 is acceptable; +200,000 is good; +300,000 is outstanding. February’s number was +313,000. (The last time a […]

The three maps in this infographic focus attention on the 2017-over-2016 percentage changes in homebuilding activity in America’s states. The Census Bureau does not publish home starts statistics at the state level, but it does compile and release residential permits numbers. Therefore, the shadings in the maps are based on permits data (in units). The […]

When assessing building material cost changes, the primary source for the U.S. is the Producer Price Index (PPI) data series calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (The BLS is also responsible for the Consumer Price Index.) For Canada, one turns to the Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI) and Raw Materials Price Index (RMPI) […]

In 2017, the economy sailed along with the wind mainly at its back. There was only intermittent stormy weather and few impediments to the steady and record-breaking climbs in stock market indices. Early indications from 2018, however, point to a course alteration into choppier waters. An onset of the jitters this year has been particularly […]

A contest is underway in America’s new homes markets to see whether single-family construction will continue to prevail or whether multi-family units will gain the upper hand. For a variety of reasons, it has long been the case that single-family groundbreakings have been dominant on the U.S. homebuilding scene. One key factor has been the […]

At the beginning of February, there was a great deal of volatility in the U.S. major stock market indices. They fell into ‘correction’ territory, which in ‘market-talk’ means they dropped by 10% from their peaks, before steadying and heading cautiously upwards again. Some of the initial downward movement was due to profit-taking, on the heels […]

ConstructConnect announced today that January’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential activity, was $29.3 billion. The fact that some of the monthly starts numbers can display wild swings is confirmed by the following. January 2018’s volume of starts relative to December 2017’s level was +35.8%; but January 2018 compared with January 2017 was -22.6%. The […]