Last Weeks Economic News In Review May 11 2017

Last Weeks Economic News In Review May 11 2017

Construction spending saw an unexpected drop, while the economy enjoyed a solid jobs report, and layoffs tumbled as well. 

Construction Spending 

After posting five straight months of gains, construction spending saw an unexpected drop. Construction spending fell to an annual rate of $1.21 trillion in March, down 0.2 percent from February’s pace of $1.22 trillion, the Census Bureau reported last week. This was well below market expectations of a 0.4 percent gain for the month. 

Compared to last year, March’s construction spending was 3.6 percent higher than March 2016’s rate of $1.17 trillion. 

The factors driving construction spending downward for March were drop offs in public sector construction and commercial construction. Meanwhile, the housing component of construction spending fared better. On the whole, private sector construction hovered at a $940.1 billion annual rate, which was nearly unchanged from February’s $940.2 billion pace. However, residential construction spending hit a $503.4 billion annual rate in March, which was a solid 1.2 percent over February’s $497.4 billion pace. 


The economy added 211,000 jobs in April, pushing the unemployment rate down to 4.4 percent from March’s 4.5 percent, with a total of 7.1 million Americans unemployed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week. Sectors that enjoyed strong job growth included leisure and hospitality; healthcare and social assistance; financial services; and mining. 

The number of Americans unemployed on a long-term basis — 27 weeks or longer — hovered at 1.6 million in April, and accounted for 22.6 percent of the total unemployed population. The number of people involuntarily employed on a part-time basis for economic reasons — such as that being the only work they could find or their hours being cut — fell by 281,000 to 5.3 million for the month. 

The labor force participation rate — the percentage of employable Americans either with a job or actively looking for one — was 62.9 percent, which was little changed from April. 

Initial Jobless Claims 

First-time claims for unemployment benefits filed by the newly laid off during the week ending April 29 fell to 238,000, a drop of 19,000 from the preceding week’s 257,000 claims, the Employment and Training Administration reported. This was well below the 245,000 claims that job market watchers had anticipated. 

The four-week moving average — considered a more stable measure of layoffs — ticked up slightly to 243,000, a gain of 750 claims from the prior week’s average of 242,250. This marked the 113th consecutive week that jobless totals have been below 300,000, a level that economists consider indicative of a growing job market. 

This week, we can expect a light calendar of economic reports, due to the holidays:
  • Tuesday — Wholesale inventories for March from the Census Bureau.

  • Wednesday — Import and export prices for April from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; April budget from the Treasury Department.

  • Thursday — Initial jobless claims for last week from the Employment and Training Administration; the producer price index for April from Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Friday — Business inventories for March and retail sales for April from the Census Bureau; the consumer price index for April from Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ken Wood CalBRE 01936979 Headshot
Phone: 951-323-7630
Dated: May 11th 2017
Views: 34
About Ken: ...

Property Search

RSS Feed

View our latest blog posts in your RSS reader. Click here to access. RSS

Search Blog

Recent Blogs

Successfully Staging A Home With Pets - Successfully Staging a Home With
Buy A Home Without Alot Of Cash - How to Buy a New Home When You
Credit Card Debt - If you have credit-card debt, it
Increase Your Homes Value - How to Increase Your

Saved Properties

This is a list of your favorite properties. We will email you if a property is reduced or leaves the market.

Click 'Save' to add a property to this list.

Register / Login

New & returning visitors please enter your information to login.

By clicking 'register' you are agreeing to our terms of use & giving us expressed written consent to contact you.

Questions? Comments? Complaints?

This message will go directly to the head of our team.

Location & Address

eXp Realty California
2603 Camino Ramon Suite 200
San Ramon, CA