U.S. construction spending rose more than expected in November, reaching its highest level in 10-1/2 years, which could provide a lift to fourth-quarter economic growth.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that construction spending increased 0.9 percent to $1.18 trillion, the highest level since April 2006. It was boosted by gains in both private and public sector investment
Construction spending in October was revised up to show a 0.6 percent rise instead of the previously reported 0.5 percent increase. Construction spending was up 4.1 percent from a year ago in November.
• Companies changed strategies, but not all of them worked out
• Donald Trump’s election brought a big bounce to stocks of some of the larger architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms
• Workforce issues continue to drive decision making process
Industry consolidation continued in 2016 at a steady but slower pace—with global economic and political trends pushing caution and no blockbuster linkages like those two years earlier.
“We’re looking at the first year-over-year decline in industry [merger and acquisition] activity in three years,” said design-sector management consultant Morrissey-Goodale. “A combination of factors including uncertainty around the presidential election and mixed messages on the economy conspired to make this latest 12 months of industry consolidation the slowest since 2013.”
But the still strong need for the right skills at the right time to execute both projects and corporate growth pushed many companies toward the expediency of “buying” critical talent.
The compact design of the Wacker VP1340A allows for compaction in narrow spaces. This product travels at high speeds and maneuvers easily. The ergonomic design includes lifting handles for easy loading and transporting. Ideal for curbs, gutters, around tanks, forms, columns, footings, guard railings, drainage ditches, gas and sewer works and building construction.
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More good news from the construction/contracting industries. A recent report from the Associated General Contractors of America analysis of Labor Department data found that 29 states and Washington, DC, added construction jobs in November.
• California generated the highest number of construction positions
• Arizona lost the most positions
• New York lost the most jobs year over year
• Kansas gave up the highest percentage of jobs
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The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since 1973 last week, evidence that businesses are confident enough in the economy to hold onto their workers.
Weekly applications for jobless benefits fell 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 235,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 253,500.
Applications for jobless benefits staying close to a four-decade low provides strong evidence that the job market remains resilient despite the fact that economic growth has been anemic so far this year.
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President-elect Donald Trump’s election-night focus on boosting spending on domestic infrastructure drove a rally in construction-related stocks Wednesday, despite uncertainty over the incoming administration’s specific funding plans and priorities.
Infrastructure financiers said funding was less of a challenge than breaking the regulatory logjam that has bogged down big projects, such as a planned new rail tunnels under the Hudson River or new crossings of the Ohio River between Kentucky and Indiana.
Mr. Trump had pledged on the campaign trail to spend $1 trillion over 10 years on a variety of infrastructure projects if elected, and analysts said this could ease the passage next year of a spending bill already being considered by Congress.