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Economics

January 4, 2010
Construction employment declined in 324 out of 337 metropolitan areas over the past year as spending on construction projects dropped by over $137 billion in November to a 6-year low of $900 billion, according to AGC's analysis of federal figures released Monday.
December 18, 2009
AGC found that while construction employment increased in 26 states this November during a period of warm, dry weather, every state but North Dakota saw a decrease over the past 12 months.  Employment data was released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but AGC says it is too early to know if a trend is emerging.
October 27, 2009
All but 12 communities nationwide saw declines in construction employment between September 2008 and 2009, according to a new analysis of metropolitan area employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released today by AGC. That analysis found more construction jobs were lost in Phoenix, AZ (35,100) than in any other city in America.
October 6, 2009
The national unemployment rate for the construction industry rose to 17.1 percent as another 64,000 construction workers lost their jobs in September, according to AGC's analysis of new employment data released Friday. With 80 percent of layoffs occurring in nonresidential construction, Ken Simonson, AGC's chief economist, said the decline in nonresidential construction has eclipsed housing's problems.
October 5, 2009
The rate of decline in overall employment is gradually slowing. First-time unemployment claims dropped in mid-September, suggesting that September employment losses will shrink again, as they did in August.
September 22, 2009
"Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts indicate that economic activity continued to stabilize in July and August," the Fed reported on September 9 in the latest Beige Book, a summary of informal soundings of business conditions. The districts are referred to by the name of their headquarters city. "Relative to the last report, Dallas indicated that economic activity had firmed, while Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Richmond, and San Francisco mentioned signs of improvement.
September 11, 2009
An article in the San Antonio Express-News covered AGC chief economist Ken Simonson's recent visit to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.  During his presentation, Simonson announced he expected new single-family housing construction to rise this year, but could not make the same prediction for multifamily construction.
September 10, 2009
AGC members continue to report that developers are unable to get loans for commercial real-estate (CRE) projects, and many members have had their own lines of credit tightened or canceled. These observations match the latest survey of senior loan officers by the Federal Reserve, which the Fed summarized on August 17.
September 1, 2009
Downturns in multi-family construction and both private and public nonresidential construction swamped a strong upswing in single-family homebuilding in July, according to AGC's analysis of federal construction spending data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
August 19, 2009
The amount of construction work funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, popularly called the stimulus legislation) varies greatly by state and program. Two weeks ago, I spoke on successive days to state transportation officials in Colorado, New Mexico and Maine. They said they had awarded contracts covering 69%, 80% and 100% of their respective DOT allocations. But, of course, those percentages don't necessarily correspond to amounts paid out or even work started. Other states are far behind those three in even holding bid-letting days to pick contractors.

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