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: $2.882
Petroleum prices rose more than they have in six weeks. Much of the rise was caused by heightening tensions overseas, specifically between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
OPEC is expected to extend a cut of around 1.8 million barrels per day into 2018.
U.S. drillers also cut eight oil rigs last week, the biggest reduction since May 2016.
Petroleum supplies are tightening, but demand remains high, supporting the rise in prices.
Lumber Price Tracker
Random lengths – framing lumber: $431
Random lengths – panels/plywood: $509
Weakening in lumber products trading that started last week accelerated this week.
The price of framing lumber dropped only $2 compared to last week, but the price of structural panels plummeted, dropping $18.
Lower duty levels on Canadian exports to the U.S. were announced on Tuesday. This caused the futures market to drop throughout the day.
Staffing & Job Market News
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released October’s job numbers on November 3.
Payroll growth, and therefore hiring, had slowed in September because of disruptions caused by hurricane season. But hiring rose sharply in October.
The unemployment rate fell to 4.1%, the lowest since December 2000. And employers added 261,000 jobs.
The highest employment gains were in food service and drinking establishments. This offset a decline in September caused by hurricanes striking the southern U.S. Hiring in October also improved in business services, manufacturing, and health care.
Despite the tightening job market, though, the average hourly wage did slip by $.01, to $26.53.
Sources: Random Lengths, EIA, CNBC, WSJ
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