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: $2.912
Petroleum output cuts in the Middle East caused global oil prices to rise today, although the average price of diesel in the United States fell by $.003 compared to last week.
However, global price increases were capped by an increase in production in the United States.
OPEC has been decreasing output in an effort to end a global oversupply and raise prices.
Meanwhile, the number of U.S. oil rigs continues to rise, from 316 in 2016, to 738 as of last week.
Lumber Price Tracker
Random lengths – framing lumber: $438
Random lengths – panels/plywood: $466
Framing lumber prices rose again this week, but only modestly (increasing from $436 to $438). Overall, prices have held steady during the last few weeks. Mill orders have remained within seasonal norms.
Prices for plywood and structural panels have continued to fall. OSB prices have plummeted in all producing regions.
Staffing & Job Market News
Employers are still struggling to find enough workers to fill their open positions. The two main challenges they list as a barrier to hiring are still a lack of skilled candidates, and a lack of candidates willing to accept the wage being offered.
This month research from the payment processor ADP found that workers who recently switched jobs saw bigger wage increases than their former coworkers who stayed with the previous company.
This wage increase held true for teachers, nurses, construction workers and even hotel employees.
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