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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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General and trade contractors have long been complaining that they can’t find sufficient qualified workers to fill vacant positions. Recently, employers in other sectors of the economy have also become vocal about their staffing problems.

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As a month, February is habitually a few days short, but that doesn’t make it less than mighty.

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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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The accompanying table records the top 10 project starts in the U.S. for January 2022.

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Engineering Megaprojects Take Center Stage ConstructConnect announced today that January 2022's volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $29.2 billion. The latest month's nonresidential dollar volume was -4.5% versus the same month of the previous year, January 2021. On the positive side, though, January 2022 was +11.5% compared with its preceding month, December 2021.

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As of January 31, 2022’s closing values, the Toronto Stock Exchange registered the strongest year-over-year advance among North America’s four major stock market indices (Table 1). Its lead over the S&P 500 index in second place, however, was minuscule, +21.7% to +21.6%.

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In 2017, several years before the coronavirus health crisis, "bricks and mortar" retail construction starts began a steep slide that lasted through the following four years.

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It’ll be a red-letter day when U.S. total employment finally returns to the peak of 152.5 million jobs it achieved in February 2020, before the arrival of COVID-19. January 2022’s month-to-month net hiring of +467,000 jobs was certainly a strong step towards achieving that milestone.

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The inflation-adjusted dollar volume of U.S. gross domestic product in 2020 fell steeply (-3.4% year over year), so perhaps it was only natural that with the loosening of controls first placed on the economy to combat COVID-19, GDP in 2021 would fare much better, +5.7% y/y (Graph 1).

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Among America’s dozen most populous cities, the five with the lowest unemployment rates, according to the latest (i.e., for November 2021) ‘household survey’ conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are Atlanta (2.2% not seasonally adjusted), Phoenix (2.8%), Washington (3.6%), Miami (3.7%), and San Francisco (3.8%).

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