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Construction Economic News

Stay up to date on the latest construction economic news and get in-depth analysis and insights from Chief Economist Alex Carrick and Senior Economist Michael Guckes.

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According to a monthly survey carried out for the Conference Board and The Business Council, CEO confidence is currently the highest it has ever been or at least dating back to when attempts to measure it began in 1976. But expectations of exceptional growth prospects are being tempered by limitations arising from: (a) shutdowns necessitated by critical parts shortages; (b) rapidly climbing commodity and other input price increases; (c) difficulty in recruiting qualified workers to fill manpower requirements; and (d) bottlenecks in transportation delivery systems.

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Nonresidential Construction Pales Beside Residential ConstructConnect announced today that May 2021’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $32.5 billion (green shaded box, Table 8 below), a decline of -2.0% versus April 2021’s $33.2 billion (originally reported as $31.5 billion).

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The accompanying table records the top 10 project starts in the U.S. for May 2021.

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Clichés are often true and it is the case that a picture can be worth a thousand words.

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Canada’s Labor Market Hopes on Hold In May, for the second month in a row, total employment in Canada retreated instead of stepping forward, putting a hold on hopes for an improving labor market. The latest month-to-month decline in total jobs was -68,000, coming on the heels of April’s setback of -207,000 jobs.

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North America’s major stock market indices generally ended May in fine fashion, but there were some changes in month-to-month performances that perhaps hold important significance for future construction activity.

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Big Grin Greets Big Pickup in Youth Employment In any pre-pandemic month, May’s U.S. total jobs count gain of +559,000 would have registered as outstanding. And I don’t want to belittle the achievement, especially since it soundly beats the previous month’s figure of +278,000.

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