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February 2016 Economic News
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The construction industry will receive a boost in 2016 from the $1.1 trillion Omnibus Appropriations bill. Funding hikes to a range of federal programs will result in more infrastructure projects. However, the New York Times said the bill would ultimately add more than a half-trillion dollars to the deficit.

Construction firms and contractors added 45,000 jobs in December month-over-month, and 128,000 workers from the third to the fourth quarters.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a predicted 790,000 workers will be added to the construction industry from 2014-2024, ranking it second behind health care in percentage terms.

The National Association of Realtors reports that new and existing home sales are predicted to increase between 1-3 percent in 2016.




National Numbers

Origination (November-to-December)
Architecture Billing Index (ABI): 50.9, up from 49.3
New projects inquiry index: 60.2, up from 58.6
Source: American Institute of Architects

Construction - Permits
Single-family: +1.8%
Multi-family: -13.5%
Combined total: -3.9%
(November-to-December)

Single-family: +8.0%
Multi-family: +23.6%
Combined total: +14.4%
(Year-to-Year) Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Starts
Single-family: -3.3%
Multi-family: -3.4%
Combined total: -2.5%
(November-to-December)

Single-family: +6.1%
Multi-family: +8.6%
Combined total: +6.4%
(Year-to-Year) Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Completions
Single-family: +8.8%
Multi-family: +0.3%
Combined total: +5.6%
(November-to-December)

Single-family: +4.7%
Multi-family: +14.6%
Combined total: +7.9%
(Year-to-Year) Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Home Sales - Existing Homes
+14.7% from November 2015
+7.7% from December 2014
Source: National Association of Realtors

New Homes
+10.8% from November 2015
+9.9% from December 2014
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Regional Report

News
A hotel boom is underway. Hotel research firm STR said there are 21 percent more rooms under construction now than a year ago. Chicago, Washington D.C. and Detroit were given above average grades for adding more hotels, but the clear winner is New York, with 13,853 rooms.

Based on new home closings, Oregon is the top-ranked move-in destination in the nation, according to Builder magazine's website, followed by South Carolina, Vermont, Idaho and North Carolina. Conversely, the top move-out states are, in descending order, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and Connecticut.

The Washington D.C. Department of General Services has awarded a $72 million contract to construction giant Skanska USA to modernize and expand the largest elementary school in the city, Lafayette Elementary. The project will expand the school to 120,000 square feet from 113,600 square feet.

Anomolies
Month-over-Month (national percentages in parenthesis)
Combined Permits (-3.9)
- Northeast: +62.0%
- Midwest: -22.1%

Combined Starts (-2.5)
- Northeast: +24.4%

Single-family Completions (+8.8)
- Midwest: +38.3%

Combined Completions (+5.6)
- Midwest: +56.1%
- Northeast: -18.9%

New Home Sales (+10.8)
- Midwest: +31.6%

Year-to-Year
Combined Permits (+14.4)
- Northeast: +106.9%
- Midwest: -2.5%

New Home Sales (+9.9)
- Midwest: +38.9%

Etc.

According to WalletHub, a provider of consumer financial data and other information, residents of Alaska were the least burdened with state taxes last year, paying about 47 percent less than the national average. Delaware was second at minus 44 percent, followed by Montana at minus 36 percent. Illinois taxed their citizens the most at 37 percent over the national average. Nebraska (29%), Wisconsin and Rhode Island (27%) were close behind.






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