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: $2.926
Globally, oil prices fell today due to uncertainty in the market.
OPEC will be meeting on November 30 to discuss whether to limit global production in order to reduce inventories and push prices upward in the coming year. Uncertainty about the upcoming vote is making market-watchers nervous.
In the United States, though, crude oil reached $59.05 per barrel, which is the highest since mid-2015. This rise was caused by the outage of the Keystone pipeline, which is one of Canada’s main export routes to the U.S.
Lumber Price Tracker
Random lengths – framing lumber: $438
Random lengths – panels/plywood: $451
Framing lumber prices are unchanged compared to last week. Trading in various framing lumber products was mixed overall, with no changes dramatic enough to push overall prices either up or down.
Sales of plywood products were quiet once again, leading to yet another drop in prices compared to last week. Demand remains weak, with dealers and distributors replenishing their stocks only sparingly.
Staffing & Job Market News
U.S. retailers earned a record $7.9 billion in online sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving, up 17.9% from a year ago.
Meanwhile, traditional retailers anticipated a decline in visits to brick-and-mortar stores. They’ve responded by improving their websites and increasing delivery options, and also by tightening in-store inventories.
The National Retail Federation had predicted strong holiday sales. Consumer confidence has strengthened this year due to a strong labor market, high numbers of job openings, as well as rising home prices and stock markets.
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