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January Construction Jobs Report Confirms Momentum

The U.S. construction industry added 39,000 jobs in January, including 12,700 net new nonresidential jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary estimate released Feb. 6. December’s estimate was revised downward from 48,000 to 44,000 net new jobs. With revisions, nonresidential construction expanded by 21,200 jobs in December.

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Severe Weather Knocks Housing Starts Down

Nationwide housing starts fell 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.065 million units in January, according to newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department. This drop was mainly due to a 22.2 percent decrease in the Midwest.

 

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MDU Construction Materials Business Grows

MDU Resources Group Inc. reported 2014 consolidated GAAP earnings of $297.5 million, or $1.55 per share, compared to $278.2 million, or $1.47 per share, in 2013. Consolidated GAAP earnings in the fourth quarter were $84.1 million, or 43 cents per share, compared to earnings of $91.3 million, or 48 cents per share, in 2013.

 

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Associations Spar on Asphalt Prices

Despite falling oil prices, the cost of paving with asphalt continues to rise across the U.S., according to a recent analysis from the Portland Cement Association (PCA). PCA stated that asphalt prices have reached record highs during the last six months.

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Housing Markets Continue to Make Modest Gains

Markets in 63 of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI). This represents a year-over-year net gain of 11 markets.

Read more: Housing Markets Continue to Make Modest Gains