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.
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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.
ConstructConnect’s grand total construction starts statistics two-thirds of the way through 2019 are almost even with January-August 2018, -3.3%. The composition of starts this year, however, has undergone a dramatic change. It is much more heavily weighted towards very large projects, the so-called ‘mega projects’ of one billion dollars or more each.
Recently, there has been an easing of tensions in two key areas impacting the global economy. The U.S. and China have reached a first phase agreement towards resolving their trade disputes and the U.K. and E.U. are speaking again with the goal of avoiding a ‘hard’ Brexit. A new negotiated arrangement would alleviate the pain from the U.K withdrawing ‘cold turkey.’