BuildingTeam Construction Forecast

Employment Statistics

Strong Labour Markets Leading to Higher Wages
10/29/2007 8:51:00 AM - Employment growth in Canada continued its strong pace in September 2007. The Canadian economy has created even more new jobs through the first nine months of this year than during the same period last year (+283,000 versus +219,000, for a net gain of +64,000). The construction sector, with a net gain of +43,000 jobs, has played a key role in the overall jobs strength. Furthermore, the current figure for average hourly earnings (+4.2%) is the highest in the history of this series, which dates back to 1997.

Canada and U.S. Diverge in Construction and Manufacturing Jobs Outlooks
10/26/2007 11:00:00 AM - U.S. construction employment continues to suffer as housing starts are leveling off from their precipitous slide, but are not yet at bottom. After a slight hiccup in late 2006 and early 2007, construction employment growth in Canada has bounced back to the 7.0%-plus year-over-year rate. Prospects for the U.S. manufacturing sector have improved, but Canada’s dollar value gains will make the playing field a tougher contest for Canadian manufacturers trying to sell into the U.S.

Canada's Employment Growth Moves at Double the U.S. Pace
10/24/2007 7:37:00 AM - The U.S. unemployment rate (4.7%) has edged slightly higher over the past six months, but still remains quite low. In Canada, the unemployment rate has just fallen below 6.0% for the first time since November 1974. The bottom line is that labor markets remain tight in both countries. As a result, the returns going to labor have been gradually creeping up.

U.S. Employment Growth has been Decelerating for more than a Year
9/20/2007 4:42:00 AM - The August, 2007 total U.S. employment number (-4,000 jobs) sent shock waves through the economy. This was the first month-to-month decline in four years, dating back to August, 2003. Much of the responsibility for the drop has been laid on the subprime mortgage crisis and the aftereffects of reduced business and consumer confidence. The truth, however, is that U.S. employment growth has been trending downwards (i.e., decelerating) for more than a year.

Non-residential Construction will Help Ontario's Labour Market
9/12/2007 4:47:00 AM - Edmonton currently has the tightest labour market in the country, followed by Abbotsford, Calgary, Saskatoon and Victoria, all in the West. Eight of the 10 weakest labour markets in the country are currently in Ontario. However, non-residential construction is about to provide a spark to Ontario's economy. CanaData is forecasting Ontario's total non-residential building starts to increase from 26.7 million square feet in 2006 to 47.4 million in 2007, largely due to office building and hotel construction.

U.S. Employment Growth Still Slipping in July; Canada's Employment Growth Stays Strong
8/27/2007 12:47:00 PM - U.S. employment has increased by 1.87 million jobs over the past year. However, the rate of employment gain has been slipping. Total employment growth in July 2007 versus July 2006 was +1.4%, which continued a trend of gradual easing from the peak year-over-year level of +2.1% in March 2006. Canada's economy has provided 351,000 new jobs over the past year. This is a +2.1% year-over-year gain in employment in July, which remains near the peak level of +2.4% achieved in January of this year.

U.S. Trails Canada in Construction Jobs in July; Manufacturing Job Decline about Even
8/27/2007 12:39:00 PM - Through July 2007, year-over-year employment growth in construction in the U.S. has been negative or zero for the past six months. The recent subprime mortgage crisis has compounded problems in the residential sector and threatened to spill over into non-residential work and the economy as a whole. A lowering of the Federal Reserve's discount rate to ease the liquidity crunch has put the U.S. at odds with the rest of the world, where interest rates are being raised as a check against overheating economies.

Canada's Top Seven City Labour Markets Are in the West in June
8/1/2007 12:13:00 PM - CanaData calculates a composite ranking of city labour markets that factors in job growth (highest to lowest) and jobless rate (lowest to highest). In the composite ranking, the seven best labour markets in Canada are in the west, led by Edmonton and followed by Abbotsford, Calgary, Saskatoon, Victoria, Regina and Vancouver. The first eastern city to break the west’s stranglehold is Sudbury (position 8), followed by Kingston (9) and Saint John, New Brunswick (10).

Canadian Employment Climbs by 35,000 Jobs in June
7/24/2007 6:24:00 AM - After two relatively quiet months in April and May, total employment in Canada picked up again in June 2007, with an increase of 35,000 jobs. Through the first half of this year, 197,000 new jobs have been created in Canada and the year-over-year increase has been 336,000. The long-term annual average increase is 200,000. Clearly the current strength in job creation is both an indication of overall strength in the economy and one of the main drivers propelling the economy forward.

U.S. Employment Increases by 132,000 Jobs in June
7/16/2007 5:58:00 AM - The U.S. economy generated 132,000 new jobs in June 2007, a figure that was quite close to the long-term monthly average of 140,000 new jobs. June was the 46th straight month of positive increase dating back to September, 2003. The chief drags on the economy, job-wise, continue to be manufacturing (-1.3% year over year) and construction (-0.1%). However, the performance in construction may actually be encouraging, given the dramatic slide in housing starts.

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