AUGUST 30, 2017 – As of this writing, the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey (and the deluge of rain that followed) has been estimated at $50-75 billion. This would make Harvey one of the costliest storms ever to hit the U.S., exceeded only by Katrina’s $108 billion damage and Sandy’s $75 billion. Recent estimates suggest that the cost of Harvey could even exceed that of Sandy, making it the second most costly natural disaster of the past 30 years. Moody’s Analytics estimates that $30-40 billion of this total will be for damage to homes and vehicles, $10-15 billion for businesses such as stores, offices, and industrial space, and $5-10 billion for infrastructure. The toll in terms of human suffering and loss is, of course, incalculable.
The economic impact of the storm and its effect on construction starts can be broken into two distinct phases, short-term and long-term. Continue reading “Update: Construction Effects of Hurricane Harvey”
National construction employment added 16,000 net new jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in June, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Overall construction employment expanded 3.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, easily outpacing the year-over-year growth rate of 1.6 percent for all nonfarm industries.
The nonresidential construction sector added 10,300 net new jobs in June after adding 4,900 in May (revised upward from 4,400 jobs), while the residential sector added 6,000 net jobs for the month.
The construction industry unemployment rate, which fell 1 percentage point in May, declined further in June and now stands at just 4.5 percent. Construction unemployment tends to decline in the summer. However, the decline in unemployment is still significant because industry unemployment now stands near lows achieved in 2006.
Continue reading “U.S. Labor Market Resurgent in June; Construction Adds 16,000 Jobs”