January 2015 Economic Indicators

Melanie Garza - Director of Operations


Private Construction Spending Stalls

Throughout 2014, private construction was lack luster, with a total growth rate just 2% over 2013.  However, some industries including commercial, office and manufacturing saw significant gains, over the course of the past 12 months. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, private construction spending in November grew just 0.3%, while many industries noted a mild set back.  Total private construction reported was $697.7 billion.

Construction spending for office and commercial fell -1.7% in December, following a drop of -1.9% in November. However, these numbers are 14.7% and 8.4% higher than figures for 2013.  Manufacturing investment posed no change in November, but has surged 21% over the past 12 months.  Healthcare spending took a hit at -4.4% spending in November and is showing an annual decline of -7.5%.

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2014 Hiring Surges

2014 proved to be a strong year for hiring, in fact, the U.S. jobless rate fell to 5.6% in 2014; a rate not seen since 2000.  The economy added 2.53 million non-farm payroll jobs in 2014, representing 1.9% net employment growth. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, food services, health care, and manufacturing.

Monthly job gains in professional and business services rose on average 62,000 jobs/per month last year, dropping the unemployment from 2.9% to 2.7% in 2014.  In December, 62,000 new construction jobs were added, a figure well above previous months.  Total construction unemployment fell from 12.1% in 2013, to 9.3% in 2014.  In 2013, manufacturing added an average of 16,000 jobs per month compared with the average of 7,000 jobs per month, in 2013.  Employment growth in healthcare grew from an average of 17,000 jobs per month in 2013, to 26,000 new jobs per month in 2014.  In December, healthcare added a record 34,000 new jobs.

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Questions or comments? Please contact Melanie Garza at mgarza@teamCOACT.com.