Data rss

Small Gain for Housing Starts in March

Total housing starts increased slightly in March, led by multifamily construction strength. Starts increased 1.9% to a 1.32 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. However, the pace of single-family starts declined in March, falling 3.7% to an 867,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, due to lingering weather effects in some parts… Read More ›

Builder Confidence Slips One Point, Remains in Solid Territory

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes edged down one point to a level of 69 in April on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) but remains on firm ground. Strong demand for housing is keeping builders optimistic about future market conditions. However, builders are facing supply-side constraints, such as a lack of… Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Higher Year-Over-Year

The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector declined in February, but remains higher than a year ago. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs came in at 196,000 in February. The post-recession high count of open, unfilled construction jobs was 255,000 in July of… Read More ›

New Home Building Employment Estimates by Congressional District

The new NAHB estimates show that the average congressional district has more than 8,800 residents working in residential construction but that number is often significantly higher. In Montana’s single Congressional district, close to 20,600 residents are in home building. The latest estimates of home building employment, including self-employed workers, by congressional district highlight the importance of home building to voting… Read More ›

Annual Inflation Accelerates on Monthly Decline

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that consumer inflation fell by 0.1 percent over the month of March 2018 following a 0.2 percent increase in February. This is first monthly decrease since May 2017. Energy prices fell by 3 percent over the month as gasoline prices were 4.9 percent lower than their level in February. In contrast, core CPI, which… Read More ›

Housing Share of GDP

With the release of the final estimate of fourth quarter 2017 GDP growth (a 2.5% annual growth rate), housing’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) rose slightly to 15.4%. The home building and remodeling component – residential fixed investment – also increased slightly, rising to 3.5%. Housing-related activities contribute to GDP in two basic ways. The first is through residential fixed investment (RFI). RFI is effectively the measure… Read More ›

Builders’ Use of Aerial Drones Takes Off

About two years ago, NAHB reported that 22 percent of single-family builders had used aerial drones (or unmanned aircraft systems, as the Department of Defense calls them) at least once in their construction businesses.  But the times they are a-changing.  When we revisited the issue in March of this year, we saw that the percentage of builders using drones had… Read More ›

Job Gains Slowed in March

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the Employment Situation for March 2018. In March, job gains slowed and the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 103,000 in March, slower than the 326,000 job growth in February. The February increase was revised from its original estimate of a 313,000 increase. Despite smaller monthly increase in… Read More ›

Construction Self-Employment Rates Exceed 23%

According to the 2016 ACS, over 23% of construction workers are self-employed, while an economy-wide average does not reach 10% of the employed labor force. The high self-employment rates in construction reflect a common practice of builders and remodelers to maintain relatively small payrolls and rely on subcontractors for a large share of the construction work. During the housing downturn,… Read More ›