Tag Archive for 'unemployment'


Texas and Wyoming Have Biggest Number and Percent of Annual Job Gains as Missouri, Hawaii Lag; California and Wyoming Have Largest One-Month Gains, While Florida and Rhode Island Trail

Forty-two states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between November 2017 and November 2018, while 23 states added construction jobs between October and November, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released today. Association officials said extremely low unemployment rates in most of the nation have made it hard for contractors in many states to continue adding workers, despite strong demand for projects.

“November was the first month this year in which fewer than half the states experienced monthly increases in construction employment,” stated chief economist Ken Simonson. “At a time when job openings are at record highs, the recent slowdown in hiring in some states may indicate contractors are unable to find qualified workers, rather than a slackening in demand for construction.”

The economist noted that job openings in construction totaled 292,000 at the end of October, a jump of 59,000 or 25 percent from a year earlier and the highest October level in the 18 years that the Labor Department has published the series. The number of unemployed jobseekers with recent construction experience—352,000—was the lowest yet for that month. Together, these figures suggest contractors in many states cannot find experienced workers to fill vacancies, Simonson said.

Texas added the most construction jobs during the past year (47,100 jobs, 6.5 percent). Other states adding a large number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (32,900 jobs, 6.4 percent), California (29,600 jobs, 3.6 percent), Arizona (18,500 jobs, 12.3 percent) and Georgia (18,200 jobs, 9.7 percent). Wyoming added the highest percentage of construction jobs during the past year (15.2 percent, 2,900 jobs), followed by Arizona, Nevada (11.7 percent, 9,900 jobs), North Dakota (11.4 percent, 2,900 jobs), Connecticut (11.0 percent, 6,400 jobs) and Oregon (10.7 percent, 10,500 jobs). Construction employment reached a record high in four states: Nebraska, New York, Oregon and Texas.

Seven states shed construction jobs between November 2017 and 2018, while construction employment was unchanged in Rhode Island. The largest decline occurred in Missouri (-3,300 jobs, -2.7 percent), followed by South Carolina (-3,100 jobs, -3.0 percent) and New Jersey (-2,200 jobs, -1.4 percent). Hawaii had the steepest percentage job loss for the year (-3.8 percent, -1,400 jobs), followed by South Carolina, Missouri, and New Jersey.

Among the 23 states with one-month job gains between October and November, California had the largest pickup (3,300 jobs, 0.4 percent), followed by Texas (2,700 jobs, 0.3 percent), Pennsylvania (1,900 jobs, 0.7 percent) and Arizona (1,900 jobs, 1.1 percent). Wyoming added the highest percentage of construction jobs for the month (4.8 percent, 1,000 jobs), followed by North Dakota (2.5 percent, 700 jobs) and West Virginia (2.3 percent, 800 jobs).

Construction employment decreased from October to November in 22 states and was unchanged in five states and D.C. Florida lost the most construction jobs (-3,800 jobs, -0.7 percent), followed by Missouri (-3,100 jobs, -2.5 percent) and North Carolina (-1,500 jobs, -0.7 percent). Rhode Island lost the highest percentage of construction jobs in November (-3.6 percent, -700 jobs), followed by Missouri and Hawaii (-2.4 percent, -900 jobs).

Association officials said the soaring level of job openings points to the urgency of implementing effective career and technical education programs to enable workers to get jobs in fields such as construction. “Contractors in many parts of the country are ready and willing to offer high-paying jobs with great career advancement opportunities,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Federal, state and local officials should facilitate those opportunities by modernizing and adequately funding appropriate education and training programs.”

View the state employment data by rank, state, and peaks. View the state employment map.

Wells Fargo 2019 Economic Outlook

Webcast replay information and YouTube video

A replay of our 2019 Annual Economic Outlook Webcast and a short YouTube video about our outlook are now available.

As the current economic expansion approaches the longest on record, we consider just how much longer the good times can last. Our base case sees the economy continuing to expand, albeit with some slowing, through 2020. But we also note factors that could either prolong — or derail — this expansion over the next couple of years.

Watch the Replay

A replay of the webcast will be available through January 13, 2019. Additional materials are available at wellsfargo.com/economicoutlook.


Executive Summary 

Records Are Made to Be Broken 

The economic expansion that began in June 2009 has been in place now for 114 months, making it the second longest U.S. economic upswing on record. Although we expect real GDP growth will slow somewhat from the rate that will be achieved in 2018 (nearly 3%), we forecast that the expansion will remain intact through 2020. 

We forecast that the expansion will remain intact through 2020. 

Real GDP growth in 2018 has been boosted, at least in part, by economic policies. The tax cuts that President Trump signed into law in late 2017 have helped to raise real disposable income, which has supported strong growth in real personal spending. In addition, last year’s budget agreement provided a lift to government spending, which has also made a positive contribution to real GDP growth. Although the Federal Reserve has been hiking rates, monetary policy is still accommodative, at least it was earlier this year. 

However, some of the factors that have contributed to strong economic growth this year are beginning to fade. The income-lifting effects of the tax cuts will dissipate in 2019, which should lead to some deceleration in real personal consumption expenditures. Growth in real government expenditures is also set to slow. Higher interest rates appear to have weighed on the housing market recently, and the Fed is probably not completely done yet with its process of removing policy accommodation. 

That said, the economy has strong momentum behind it at present, which should keep the expansion intact. Business confidence is buoyant, thereby underpinning investment spending and employment growth. Real consumer spending should be supported by continued growth in real disposable income, upbeat confidence and record levels of household wealth. The high personal saving rate gives households the financial ability to maintain solid rates of spending growth. 

Unemployment has receded to its lowest rate in nearly 50 years, which has led to some acceleration in wages. Modest rates of wage inflation are putting some upward pressure on rates of consumer price inflation. Consequently, the Federal Reserve has been gradually removing policy accommodation, and we look for further tightening ahead. We expect that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will lift its target range for the fed funds rate by 25 bps at its next policy meeting on December 19, and we forecast that the FOMC will hike another 50 bps in 2019. 

It Is the Best of Times, It Is the Worst of Times 

Could the good times last even longer than we anticipate? Yes. Recessions tend to occur when excesses get built up during the boom years and then are subsequently reversed when risk tolerances shift due to a policy mistake or an exogenous shock. The most striking feature of the current expansion is the absence of any obvious excesses. As noted above, inflation has crept higher recently but a return to 1970s-like rates of inflation seems to be a remote possibility. Therefore, the Fed probably does not need to jam on the brakes, which can prolong the expansion. 

A stronger rate of potential GDP growth could be another elixir to the longevity of the expansion. Reduced marginal income tax rates could be drawing more people into the labor market, and corporate tax reform could potentially lead to a sustained acceleration in capital spending. Stronger labor force growth and acceleration in capital investment would lift the economy’s potential growth rate. If the economy’s speed limit is actually higher than most analysts currently estimate, then inflation should remain generally quiescent, reducing the risk of a policy mistake by the Fed. 

There are some credible downside risks to our forecast that should be kept in mind. 

But there are also some credible downside risks to our forecast that should be kept in mind. Although inflation has generally remained benign, it could conceivably rise more rapidly in the coming months if wages accelerate further due to tightness in the labor market. In that scenario, the FOMC could end up tightening policy too forcibly. Trade tensions between the United States and China have risen this year. Although the “first order” effects of the trade war do not appear to be large enough to derail the U.S. expansion, “second-order” effects on investment and consumer spending could be more meaningful. Furthermore, there has been broad asset price appreciation in recent years, and a significant selloff in asset markets could weaken confidence and erode household wealth. Authorities are not in the best position to fight a downturn, should one occur. The Fed does not have as much conventional “ammunition” as it usually does before a recession (i.e., the fed funds rate generally remains low). The federal government’s deficit is already on its way to more than $1 trillion, limiting its ability to loosen fiscal policy further to offset economic weakness.

Global Growth Set to Slow Somewhat 

We estimate that global GDP has risen 3.7% in 2018, which would make it the strongest year of global GDP growth since 2011. But, we look for some deceleration in the global economy in 2019. As discussed previously, U.S. GDP growth should slow somewhat throughout the next year. But we also look for slower growth in China, the world’s second-largest individual economy, due, at least in part, to the “trade war” with the United States. We forecast that the Japanese economy will also decelerate a bit in 2019, although the pace of economic activity in the Eurozone and in the United Kingdom should hold up reasonably well. A “disorderly” Brexit and political tension between the Italian government and the European Commission represent possible downside risks to our forecast, but we anticipate that both issues will be resolved. 

The trade-weighted value of the U.S. dollar against other major currencies has risen about 5% on balance since the beginning of the year. The strength of the U.S. economy relative to most other major economies has led the Federal Reserve to hike rates at a faster pace than other major central banks, thereby supporting the greenback. But, we expect that many other major central banks will start to catch up to the Fed next year. This “monetary policy convergence” should lead to dollar depreciation vis-à-vis most other major currencies in 2019. We expect that the greenback’s performance will be generally mixed against emerging market currencies next year. 

For the full Wells Fargo 2019 Economic Outlook visit:



Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement on what the 2018 midterm elections mean for the equipment manufacturing industry.

Dennis Slater, AEM President

“After a midterm election that saw record turnout and interest, there’s now a renewed opportunity for President Trump and Congress to work across party lines to tackle the issues that will help grow our economy and keep our nation strong,” said Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). “Modernizing our nation’s infrastructure, promoting free and fair trade, and supporting a strong agriculture economy should all be bipartisan priorities for the 116th Congress. The equipment manufacturing industry stands ready to do its part by working with Congress and the administration to solve some of our nation’s biggest policy challenges so that we can add to the 1.3 million good-paying jobs our industry supports.”

Many of the top issues for voters in the midterm elections are issues that are also important to the equipment manufacturing industry.
TRADE: The escalating trade dispute with China and the decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum has had a negative impact on the equipment manufacturing industry. U.S. equipment manufacturers are facing higher production costs while the impact of retaliatory tariffs by trading partners hurt the U.S. agriculture sector and threaten to reduce the domestic sales of agriculture equipment. AEM believes that Republicans and Democrats should work together to address the uncertainty and disruption caused by the administration’s trade policies. This includes efforts to negotiate fair, binding, and enforceable trade agreements with countries and open up new markets for U.S. equipment manufacturers.
INFRASTRUCTURE: The lack of any meaningful action on a comprehensive infrastructure bill means that expectations for Congress and the administration to act next year will be even higher. Voters have repeatedly made it clear that they want Washington to keep its promise to rebuild and invest in roads, highways, bridges, ports, pipelines, and broadband networks. Equipment manufacturers will send a strong message to both Democrat and Republican members of the 116th Congress that they should start with infrastructure. That means working together in a bipartisan fashion to identify a long-term and sustainable funding mechanism for the Highway Trust Fund, connect urban and rural America through new infrastructure, ensure that projects are delivered in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner, and provide job training programs for the workforce that will help us reclaim our infrastructure advantage.
AGRICULTURE: A strong agriculture economy creates a strong manufacturing sector. Farm policies have a major impact on the health of the farm economy, which in turn is a key driver of the equipment manufacturing employment. Congress can and must pass the farm bill so that farmers and ranchers can keep providing our nation’s food security. Republicans and Democrats should also work together to craft a comprehensive energy policy for our nation, including supporting a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and work to advance the effort to expand ethanol fueling infrastructure and work to open up more new markets around the globe for U.S. farmers and ranchers.
TAX: Tax reform empowered the equipment manufacturing industry to create jobs, improve the quality of life and build more in America. Many equipment manufacturers have hired more workers, created more well-paying jobs, invested more in America, and raised wages, and the industry has been given license to compete more fiercely in the global economy. Democrats and Republicans should work together to fix errors in the new tax law, which could create an opportunity to pass new, bipartisan tax legislation. Specifically, Congress should work in a bipartisan fashion to make the new tax code even stronger for equipment manufacturers, including making permanent full expensing for short-life investments and the deduction for qualified business income, as well as making the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) a true alternative minimum tax.
Every year, AEM’s grassroots campaign I Make America works to engage and motivate many of the equipment manufacturers’ 1.3 million men and women to get involved in the political process. This year’s activities included dozens of events at equipment manufacturing facilities, including the I Make America Town Hall Tour. To get our industry’s men and women more engaged this election year, the Town Hall Tour brought policy and industry experts to shop floors across the country for engaging and in-depth discussions on key policy issues – including trade, infrastructure, and agriculture – and was attended by more than 500 workers and watched by thousands more online. According to post-event polls, two-thirds of attendees felt they had a better understanding of the issues impacting the industry after participating in the Town Hall Tour.
AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 1.3 million jobs and contributes roughly $159 billion to the economy every year.



Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Missouri motorists a total of $7.8 billion statewide annually – as much as $2,0311 per driver- due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge, and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Missouri, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research group.

The TRIP report, Missouri Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Missouri, one-half of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition and 13 percent of locally and state-maintained bridges are structurally deficient. The report also finds that Missouri’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce.

Driving on Missouri roads costs the state’s drivers a total of $7.8 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the cost of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Columbia-Jefferson City, Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield areas. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area, along with a statewide total, is below.

The TRIP report finds that 24 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in Missouri are in poor condition and 28 percent are in mediocre condition. Nineteen percent of the state’s major roads are in fair condition and the remaining 29 percent are in good condition. Driving on rough roads costs the state’s motorists a total of $3 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Traffic congestion throughout Missouri is worsening, causing up to 45 annual hours of delay for drivers in the largest urban area and costing the state’s drivers $2.4 billion each year in lost time and wasted fuel.

Thirteen percent of Missouri’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. This is the eleventh highest rate in the nation.

Traffic crashes in Missouri claimed the lives of nearly 4,200 people between 2012 and 2016. Missouri’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.28 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is higher than the national average of 1.18.  The fatality rate on Missouri’s non-interstate rural roads is nearly two and a half times that on all other roads in the state (2.15 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.88). The financial impact of traffic crashes costs the state’s drivers a total of $2.4 billion annually.

“TRIP’s study shows bad roads cost Missourians money and time in big and small ways that add up to considerable expense, stress, and frustration,” said Scott Charton, communications director for SaferMo.com. “Missouri voters have the opportunity on November 6 to do something to fix our roads by voting “YES” on Proposition D, which will provide more than $400 million annually in new road and bridge funding across Missouri, including a 66 percent increase in state funding for local priority projects. Missourians can take a positive step for safer roads and safer streets by supporting Prop D.”

The efficiency and condition of Missouri’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.  Annually, $495 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Missouri, mostly by trucks, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to relocate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system. The design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Missouri support more than 79,000 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy.

“Driving on deficient roads comes with a $7.8 billion price tag for Missouri motorists – as much as $2,031 per driver,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Adequate funding for the state’s transportation system would allow for smoother roads, more efficient mobility, enhanced safety, and economic growth opportunities while saving Missouri’s drivers time and money.”



Driving on Missouri roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack some desirable safety features costs Missouri drivers a total of $7.8 billion each year. TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on rough roads, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.


Due to inadequate state and local funding, 52 percent of major roads and highways in Missouri are in poor or mediocre condition. Driving on rough roads costs the average Missouri driver $695 annually in additional vehicle operating costs.


Thirteen percent of Missouri’s bridges are structurally deficient (the eleventh highest share in the nation), meaning there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Most bridges are designed to last 50 years before major overhaul or replacement, although many newer bridges are being designed to last 75 years or longer. In Missouri, 40 percent of the state’s bridges (9,913 of 24,487) were built in 1969 or earlier.


Congested roads choke commuting and commerce and cost Missouri drivers $2.4 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel. In the most congested urban areas, drivers lose up to $1,080 and nearly two full days each year in congestion.


From 2012 to 2016, 4,163 people were killed in traffic crashes in Missouri. Traffic crashes imposed a total of $7.1 billion in economic costs in Missouri in 2016 and traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $2.4 billion in economic costs.


The health and future growth of Missouri’s economy is riding on its transportation system. Each year, $495 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Missouri, mostly by truck. Increases in passenger and freight movement will place further burdens on the state’s already deteriorated and congested network of roads and bridges.

The design, construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Missouri supports 79,083 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $2.9 billion annually. Approximately 1.3 million full-time jobs in Missouri in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation network.






AEM Encouraged by Trilateral Trade Agreement

Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement today about the announced United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a step in the right direction,” said Dennis Slater, President of AEM. “Trade agreements provide better access to customers across the globe and help us add to the 1.3 million jobs our industry supports in the United States. We urge this administration to continue working closely with the Canadian and Mexican governments to enact policies that promote continued economic growth for our industry.”
Nearly 30 percent of all equipment produced in the U.S. is intended for export and Canada and Mexico are the first and second-largest export markets for both U.S. construction and agricultural equipment. Since the creation of NAFTA two decades ago, the equipment manufacturing industry has benefited greatly from duty-free access to our industry’s largest two export markets, Canada and Mexico.
AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 1.3 million jobs and contributes roughly $159 billion to the economy every year.