Ken Simonson is chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America. Ken writes a weekly one-page email newsletter for AGC, the Data DIGest, which summarizes the latest economic news relevant to construction. He is co-author of AGC's monthly Construction Tax News, a one-page email covering federal, state and local tax developments affecting the industry. In addition, he has written eight booklets explaining tax provisions in plain English, and he is interviewed often by CNBC, USA Today, Business Week and other national media.
Ken has 30 years of experience analyzing, advocating and communicating about economic and tax issues. Most recently he spent three years as senior economic advisor in the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy. He can be reached by phone at 703/837-5313, fax: 703/837-5406 or e-mail: email@example.com. Visit the AGC Web site at www.agc.org
brings the pace of total construction starts back to the lackluster activity
reported at the outset of 2012. Separate
reports from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the
National Association of Realtors and the Census Bureau showed, respectively,
rising prices for existing single-family houses, rising sales and falling
inventories for existing homes, and rising sales and record-low inventories of
AGC analysis released June 26 showed construction employment increased in 126
out of 337 areas for which BLS provides construction data (including divisions
of larger metros), declined in 164 and stayed stagnant in 47.
the past two years, construction employment was virtually unchanged but the number
of unemployed hardhats fell by 605,000, suggesting workers are quitting
construction, either to take jobs elsewhere, return to school, retire or
otherwise leave the workforce.
PPI for inputs to construction industries rose 0.4% for the month and 4.5% over 12
months. Although higher than the finished goods PPI, the 12-month increase was
the mildest for construction materials since the year ending in September 2010.
The drop in industry unemployment, unaccompanied
by a rise in construction employment, suggests workers are finding jobs in
other industries, retiring, returning to school or training, or leaving the
workforce. That may make hiring more difficult when construction demand picks