Richard Branch, Dodge Data & Analytics, Senior Economist
BEDFORD, MA - January 4, 2019 - U.S. employers added 312,000 new jobs in the month of December – well above consensus estimates. The December employment numbers are typically more volatile than other months due to increased seasonality and in the past have been subject to sizeable revisions. However, figures for both October and November were revised higher than initially reported suggesting that the underlying strength in December may be real.
December’s gain was widespread; the only major sector to cut jobs was information, which lost 1,000 positions. Education and health services added 82,000, 43,000 jobs were added in professional and business services, and manufacturing added 32,000. The construction sector had a solid month, with 38,000 new jobs including, 16,300 in civil and engineering construction, 13,000 in specialty trade, and 8,000 in building construction.
Average hourly earnings rose 0.4% from November to December and are 3.2% higher than they were a year ago. This marks the third consecutive month in which wage growth was greater than 3% and is a clear sign that this is a seller’s market – with more positions available than people to fill them. Construction wages rose 0.5% in the month and are 3.9% higher than a year ago. The unemployment rate rose 20 basis points to 3.9%, but this too is good news as it was a result of more people entering the labor market.
For the full year the U.S. economy added 2.6 million new jobs – averaging 220,000 new jobs a month. This follows 2.2 million new jobs added in 2017, and 2.3 million in 2016.
With the news cycle of late dominated by a deteriorating stock market and political unease, December’s report is a clear reminder that the underlying foundations of the economy are solid. The strong labor market and resulting wage gains are pushing consumer spending higher and business investment remains healthy due to changes in the tax code. While economic growth in 2019 is likely to ease slightly from the pace set last year, there is not an imminent cliff approaching - a notion reinforced with today’s data.
Dodge Construction Network leverages an unmatched offering of data, analytics, and industry-spanning relationships to generate the most powerful source of information, knowledge, insights, and connections in the commercial construction industry.
The company powers four longstanding and trusted industry solutions—Dodge Data & Analytics, The Blue Book Network, Sweets, and IMS—to connect the dots across the entire commercial construction ecosystem.
Together, these solutions provide clear and actionable opportunities for both small teams and enterprise firms. Purpose-built to streamline the complicated, Dodge Construction Network ensures that construction professionals have the information they need to build successful businesses and thriving communities. With over a century of industry experience, Dodge Construction Network is the catalyst for modern commercial construction. To learn more, visit construction.com
Cailey Henderson | 104 West Partners | email@example.com
Sign up for any of our e-newsletters and receive key insights and industry trends
Thank you for your submission. You are now subscribed.
Call Dodge today at: 1-877-784-9556
Fill out the form below to get the information on Dodge Construction Central
Thank you for your interest. We will reach out to you shortly.