October’s Starts Defied the Usual Seasonality ConstructConnect announced today that the latest month’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $38.7 billion (green shaded box, Table 3 below),+6.5% versus September’s figure of $36.3 billion (originally reported as $34.7 billion). From September to October, there is usually a change of -4% in total nonresidential starts due to seasonality. October’s result was supported by $6 billion in mega project startups (i.e., 3 projects of more than $1 billion each), surpassing $2.3 billion of such work (from 2 projects) in September.
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Clichés are often true and it is the case that a picture can be worth a thousand words.
Hiring in Canada took a pause in October according to the latest Labour Force Survey report from the nation’s chief statistics-gathering agency. Statistics Canada says that total employment in the tenth month of the year stayed almost the same (-2,000 jobs) as in September.
In the latest month, total U.S. put-in-place construction spending, as measured by the Census Bureau, was -2.1% year to date (ytd ‒ i.e., Jan-Sept 2019 versus Jan-Sept 2018). As for the total’s two major sub-components, residential (with a 40% share) was in decline, at -7.9% ytd, while nonresidential (with a 60% share) was modestly ahead, +2.2% ytd.
Revisions to Past Data Paint Better Picture The headline figure on U.S. net jobs creation in October, as recorded in the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s Employment Situation report, was a rather tepid +128,000. But as has occurred on several other recent occasions, there were significant revisions to past data that brighten the picture considerably.