Since the market bottom of 2008 it has usually been pretty easy for specialty contractors to find workers to add for big projects. Not anymore.
The Economist reports that, though still a shadow of its former size, construction is experiencing something it has not felt since the housing bubble peaked: labor shortages. Builders complain that they cannot find enough carpenters, laborers and estimators. It is too soon to call it a seller’s market, but wages are starting to respond.
A 2.4 percent improvement on the weekly Construction MMI® made European 1050 aluminum the week’s biggest mover, closing at EUR 2,139 ($2,915) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum bar traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 14,200 ($2,273) per metric ton.
The price of Chinese rebar rose 0.6 percent to CNY 3,210 ($513.77) per metric ton after falling 1.8 percent during the previous week. Closing at CNY 970.00 ($155.25) per dry metric ton, the Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines remained unchanged for the week. US shredded scrap remained essentially flat from the previous week at $385.00 per short ton. Prices for Chinese H-beam steel remained constant, closing the week at CNY 3,230 ($516.97) per metric ton.
With a 1.0 percent decrease, the weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge closed the week at $0.53 per mile. The weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge closed last week at $0.55 per mile, after a 0.7 percent drop. Following a 0.3 percent drop, the weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge finished the week at $0.51 per mile.
The Construction MMI® collects and weights 9 metal price points used within the construction industry to provide a unique view into construction industry price trends. For more information on the Construction MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.