Workforce Development

September 4, 2008
Futures prices for commodities have continued their rapid retreat from July's highs, but many products used in construction are still rising in price.
September 2, 2008
Construction spending in July slipped 0.6% to $1.08 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), the Census Bureau reported today. Year-to-date (YTD) spending in the first seven months of 2008 was down 5.4% from the same period of 2007. The declines were concentrated in private residential spending, which fell 2.3% for the month and 28% YTD. Private nonresidential spending fell 0.7% in July but rose 19% YTD, and public construction spending climbed 1.4% and 7.5%. Despite weakness in July, every private nonresidential category is up YTD except religious structures, the segment most closely tied to new residential development. The largest YTD gains among major nonresidential segments were in manufacturing, 46% (projects include refineries, biodiesel, cement, steel and transportation equipment plants); lodging, 38%; power, 33% (including power plants, transmission lines, wind and other renewable power facilities); and office, 16%. The other large nonresidential groups showed more modest gains: education, 9.7%; highways and streets, 3.2%; and commercial (retail, wholesale and farm), 3.0%. Census also updated tables that show how many months it takes to complete multifamily, private nonresidential and state and local projects.
September 2, 2008
"Nonresidential construction spending continued growing in July, despite the weak economy and housing slump," Ken Simonson, Chief Economist for The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), said today following the release of construction spending data from the Census Bureau. "But Congress must act promptly to avert layoffs in power and highway construction." AGC Press Release, 9/02/08

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