Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for January 22, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy The Chore GapThere has been quite a lot of attention devoted to some of the gender gap issues—everything from pay differences to promotions. Relatively little attention has been paid to the "chore gap," but some studies reveal this issue has a direct impact on some of the bi...
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Builder Confidence Holds 20-Year High, Despite January Dip

Following January's slight dip in newly built single-family home builders' confidence, economists are optimistic about future home building gains given the latest readings are at their highest in 20 years. Builder confidence readings in December and January were last seen in July 1999, the latter's score inching one point lower to 75.According to t...
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Nonresidential Construction Employment Ends 2019 on a High Note

The nonresidential construction sector ended 2019 with a bang, adding 20,000 net new jobs—an increase of more than 150,000 jobs (2%) compared to the prior year.In a month-over-month (MoM) analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the data revealed an employment increase of 16,700 jobs last month, most notably in nonresidential specialt...
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Single-Family Housing Hit Hard in 2010s

As a decade ends, another begins, but that isn't to say there aren't lessons to learn. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the 2010s stands out to the construction industry because of the drastic drop in single-family home production, down from 12.3 million units in the 2000s to 6.8 in the 2010s. The decline is even more ...
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Construction Material Prices Largely a ‘Nonissue’ for Contractors

As 2019 comes to a close, contractors are enjoying the ongoing decline in construction input prices, which decreased half of a percent in November. According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and their chief economist, Anirban Basu, material prices are "a nonissue" for contractors, despite trade disputes and tariffs.ABC reported not only...
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Construction Industry Maintains Job Count in November

The cold weather isn't putting the construction industry down as job opportunities remain available, increasing both month-over-month (MoM) and year-over-year (YOY). On Dec. 6, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) revealed an additional 1,000 net new construction jobs became available MoM in November, while the YOY total rose by 2%, or 146,000...
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Experts Anticipate $7.5 Billion Increase in Cyber Insurance Premiums by 2022

With each passing day, it seems as if there is a new type of insurance policy created to protect people and businesses alike. Many credit managers, for example, are already familiar with credit insurance, designed to ensure creditors are covered if a customer doesn't fulfill their debt. Published on Nov. 19, a Financial Times (FT) article explores ...
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October Brings Spike in Construction Jobs

For those interested in the construction industry, now is the time to join as the sector experienced a significant increase of 10,000 jobs in October across the U.S. Thirty-nine states saw some form of growth last month, 28 of which increased more than 2.1%.According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), nearly 150,000 residential an...
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‘New Month, Same Story’ on October Construction Material Prices

Construction input prices reached a plateau in October, showing a continued trend of little fluctuation over the past few months. The long-run data was less flattering, however, as prices decreased more than 2% year-over-year (YOY). With the main focus on nonresidential construction, input prices decreased monthly and annually by 0.1% and 2%, respe...
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AI Breaking Through to Construction Industry

Although news outlets have cited the construction industry's slow adoption of technology, recent reports show contractors are opening up to the idea, specifically the use of artificial intelligence (AI). According to Construction Dive, two AI companies have received funding for their platforms, both of which were designed to improve project efficie...
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Contractors Confident Thanks to Profit Margins, Staffing Levels

Expectations for profit margins and staffing kept contractors confident in August when results exceeded July predictions. According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the Construction Confidence Index (CCI) shows an increase in both factors, while sales expectations declined.More than half of the surveyed contractors anticipate an increa...
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Construction Sees ‘Another Perfect Employment Data Release’

As unemployment continues to decline, the construction sector is among the industries to see job growth in September in what Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu described as "another perfect employment data release." According to an ABC report on Oct. 4, net new construction jobs increased by 7,000 last month with...
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Job Growth, Low Interest Rates Behind Improved Home Sales

The combination of job growth and low interest rates made for a successful month of new home sales in August, increasing nearly 6.5% over the 2018 results. On Sept. 25, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported more than a 7% increase in new single-family homes last month, up from economists' predictions in July.According to NAHB, a...
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August Housing Starts Soar Thanks to Multifamily Gains

August housing starts saw the largest gain in 12 years, exceeding experts' predictions in July with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.36 million units. Rising more than 12%, the surge in housing starts was attributed to a signification increase in the multifamily housing sector, where the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said start...
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Monthly, Yearly Input Prices See Significant Decline

To the delight of U.S. contractors, construction input prices not only dropped month-over-month (MoM) in August, but also year-over-year (YOY). According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), MoM input prices were down more than half of a percent, while YOY input prices fell nearly 1%.MoM and YOY input prices for nonresidential construction...
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Nonresidential Construction Employment ‘Just About Perfect’

Construction job growth expectations weren't achieved in August, but according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu, overall employment was "just about perfect." After the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data release, ABC released its analysis on Sept. 6, citing a 2.4% increase in construction employment year-ov...
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Construction Employment Remains Healthy

Construction unemployment isn't exactly where the industry wants it to be, but it has been worse. On Aug. 28, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported unemployment rose in 38 states in July 2019 compared to July 2018, based on estimates that were not seasonally adjusted. However, despite the 0.4% increase in unemployment over the past yea...
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Justice Department Indicts 80 in BEC Scam Case

As frequently as fraud is reported, many incidents end with companies suffering heavy financial losses. Sometimes, a lack of security or employee training is to blame, but there are also times when it's truly hard to detect a fraudulent transaction. Recently, the United States experienced a win on the fraud front after 80 defendants were indicted f...
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The Fight Against Fraud Continues in US, UK

Just as businesses beef up security, fraud evolves and strikes companies when they least expect it, sending security teams back to the drawing board. The latest attacks are affecting businesses in the U.S. and U.K.On Aug. 11, Financial Times reported a rise in cyber insurance policy claims in both countries. In the U.S., companies are learning abou...
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July Construction Input Prices Improve Yet Remain Worrisome

Construction input prices experienced a modest comeback in July, but results have left some builders unsettled with the year-over-year (YOY) findings. Despite the 0.8% expansion month-over-month (MoM), input prices fell more than half a percent YOY in part by notable declines in natural gas, unprocessed energy materials, crude petroleum and softwoo...
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