September 2015 Economic Indicators

Melanie Garza - Director of Strategy & Growth

Construction Spending Up

Construction spending rose 13.7% over the last 12 months. In July, the index inched up another .7% to $1,083 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The private sector is investing heavily in both residential and non-residential construction. Residential building grew 1.1% in July and non-residential construction grew 1.5% in July. Government spending however; continued to fall in July with education falling 3% and highway dipping .2%.

Investment in manufacturing grew 4.8% in July and is up 72.9% from a year ago. Office Construction also grew 1.2% and is 26.1% up from 2014. Spending slowed in commercial with a decline of -1.5% in July, but is 5.5% higher a year ago. Construction of multi-family developments fell -2.2% over the summer and is 21.2% more than 2014.

Unemployment Falls Short

August proved disappointing for new jobs creation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 173,000 new jobs were created; falling short of a forecasted 213,000. The national unemployment fell slightly to 5.1%.

Health care and social assistance added 56,000 jobs in August. Over the year, employment has risen by 457,000 in health care and by 107,000 in social assistance.

New jobs in the financial sector grew by 19,000 with 170,000 new jobs over the past year. Professional and business services positions also climbed 33,000 in August and are up 641,000 from 2014. Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in August +33,000 and has increased by 641,000 over the year.

In the manufacturing sector, new jobs fell 17,000 after flat July. Job losses occurred in a number of component industries, including fabricated metal products and food manufacturing down -7,000 each. The automotive industry added 6,000 new positions and durable goods manufacturing grew by 4,000. Thus far this year, overall employment in manufacturing has shown little net change.

Questions or comments? Please contact Melanie Garza at