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: $2.787
Both domestic and international forces are pushing up the price of diesel.
The U.S. oil rig count fell for a fourth time in the last five weeks.
And on Sunday, there was an explosion on a drilling rig in Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain, which also caused prices to rise.
One worker remains missing after the explosion.
Tensions in the Middle East also caused an increase in global petroleum prices.
Iraq’s Kurdistan briefly shut down around 350,000 barrels per day of production due to security concerns.
Renewed worries over U.S. sanctions against Iran also drew attention in the market.
Lumber Price Tracker
Random lengths – framing lumber: $440
Random lengths – panels/plywood: $538
The five-week climb in the price of framing lumber finally leveled off. There was no change from last week’s price.
Structural panel prices did rise for the seventh straight week, but only by $2. This is a much smaller change than in recent weeks, especially when compared to the steep climb in prices during the first three weeks of September.
Employers are gearing up for seasonal hiring for the holiday shopping season.
The seasonal hiring projections for major retailers are:
Macy’s: 80,000 workers
JC Penney: 40,000 workers
Toys R Us just filed for bankruptcy. But the company is still planning to hire “tens of thousands of seasonal staff.” The company’s spokesperson declined to give a specific number.
Walmart plans to extend the hours of its current employees rather than hire temporary workers.
Target is not only hiring 100,000 temporary workers, but they also raised their minimum wage for new employees from $10 to $11 per hour.
In addition to extending the hours of its regular employees, Kohl’s says they plan to hire about the same number of temporary workers this year as they did last year. That number was 69,000.
The seasonal hiring projections for major e-commerce and distribution companies are:
Amazon: 120,000 workers
UPS: 95,000 workers
Fedex: 50,000 workers
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