The weekly changes in the price of diesel and lumber give a quick snapshot into the state of staffing in the construction and distribution industries.
Diesel Price Tracker
National Average Price Per Gallon: $2.910
Globally, oil prices have jumped to their highest level in more than two years. High prices in Europe are the result of a pipeline shutdown in the North Sea, and an explosion at Austria’s main gas transfer hub.
In the United States, though, diesel prices fell slightly. The national average price is down to $2.910, compared to $2.922 last week.
Lower prices in the U.S. are the result of rising domestic production. National output has jumped to 9.71 million barrels per day, which is one of the highest levels since the early 1970s.
Lumber Price Tracker
Random lengths – framing lumber: $434
Random lengths – panels/plywood: $427
Trading in framing lumber products remains weak. The only exception was the price of Green Fir, which saw demand outstripping supply.
Meanwhile, trading in structural panels gained some traction this week. Prices of individual products stabilized in most regions, and mill prices held steady.
Staffing & Job Market News
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report on December 8.
According to the Bureau, the number of people unemployed remains “essentially unchanged at 6.6 million.”
The average wage rose to $26.55. This is 64 cents higher than it was a year ago.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, “We’re especially pleased to see the manufacturing sector roaring back to life, adding a total of 159,000.”
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