Weekly changes in the prices 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: $2.792
Despite the slight uptick in the price of diesel this week, crude oil actually fell more than $1 per barrel on Monday.
U.S. drillers added six oil rigs in the week to September 29, leading to larger-than-expected petroleum inventories.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the Caribbean hard. Damage to fuel storage terminals in the region means that fuel originally sent to the Caribbean will likely be rerouted to the Gulf Coast, where supplies already remain high.
Lumber Price Tracker
Random lengths – framing lumber: $436
Random lengths – panels/plywood: $528
Trading in framing lumber slowed from previous weeks, but most species are still seeing an upward trend.
Composite panel prices rose yet again. Mill orders continue to outpace inventory.
Because of a two-year inventory shortage, sales of existing U.S. homes fell in August.
Sales of single-family houses were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 560,000. This is 3.4% below the July rate of 580,000, and 1.2% below the August 2016 estimate of 567,000.
August’s decrease in existing home sales was the fourth decline in five months and brings the annual rate to the lowest level in 12-months.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release September’s employment numbers on October 6. In the meantime, here’s a recap of August’s numbers:
The unemployment rate remained little changed from the previous month (4.4%). Job gains occurred in manufacturing, construction, professional and technical services, health care, and mining.
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