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