Economic News in Review Greenville SC - Dec 09, 2015

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Economic News in Review Greenville SC

Here is last week’s Economic News in Review Greenville SC.

Construction spending hit a welcome eight-year high, while monthly unemployment remained steady, and lay-offs saw a slight gain.

Construction Spending

Construction spending rose to its highest point in eight years as sales grew 1 percent in October to reach an annual rate of $1.1 trillion, the Census Bureau reported last week. Compared annually, this was 13 percent higher than October 2014’s pace of $979.6 billion.

The increase was driven by both private and public construction. Looking at the private sector, spending on private construction grew 0.8 percent to an annual rate of $802.4 billion. Residential construction grew 1 percent to an annual rate of $399 billion in October.

“The October data were positive across the board, with robust growth for the month and year in residential, private non-residential and public construction,” Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, remarked to trade magazine Construction Index. “The pause that had appeared in private and public non-residential spending for several months seems to have ended.”


The economy added 211,000 jobs in November, keeping the unemployment rate at 5 percent with 7.9 million Americans out of work, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week. Key segments of the economy that helped drive new jobs included construction, professional and technical services, and healthcare.

The number of Americans unemployed on a long-term basis— those without jobs for 27 weeks or longer — hovered at 2.1 million people in November, constituting 25.7 percent of all unemployed people. The labor force participation rate — the percentage of all employable individuals either employed or actively looking for work — hovered at 62.5 percent.

Notably, the number of persons employed on a part-time basis for reasons such as their hours had been cut or that was all the work they could find, grew by 319,000 people, putting the total of part-time workers at 6.1 million. That said, over the past 12 months, the number of involuntary part-time workers employed dropped by 765,000 people.

Initial Jobless Claims

Looking at more recent employment activity, first-time claims for unemployment benefits filed during the week ending November 28 grew to 269,000 claims, an increase of 9,000 from the preceding week’s total of 260,000, the Employment and Training Administration reported last week. The four-week moving average — considered a more reliable gauge of lay-offs — dipped by 1,750 claims to 269,250.

All told, claims remained at 40-year lows, and were still well below the 300,000-claim mark that economists consider indicative of a growing job market.

“The pace of layoffs has slowed from already historically low levels,” Amherst Pierpont Securities Economist Stephen Stanley told the Wall Street Journal. “The labor market remains quite healthy and shows no sign of running out of steam any time soon.”


Economic News in Review Greenville SC


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Movement Mortgage, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender. NMLS # 39179 | 877-314- 1499. Movement Mortgage, LLC is licensed by the "South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions" Lic # MLS-39179. Interest rates and products are subject to change without notice and may or may not be available at the time of loan commitment or lock-in.  Borrowers must qualify  at  closing  for  all  benefits. “Movement Mortgage” is a registered trademark of the Movement Mortgage, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company.


Posted by

Randy Shamburger

Senior Mortgage Lender 

NMLS# 322952        

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