Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category

By IMRE Research

The unemployment rate changed slightly to 7.3 percent in August, adding 169,000 jobs to payroll over the month. Job growth primarily occurred in the retail trade and healthcare sectors, specifically in clothing stores, food and beverage stores, and ambulatory care services. Employment also rose in professional and business services and wholesale trade, while employment decreased in information. Employment in other major industries such as construction, transportation and financial activities showed little or no change over the month.

The slight drop in the unemployment rate doesn’t necessarily reflect a healthy market though. The labor force participation rate dropped to a startling 63.2 percent in August. This number reflects the percentage of people over sixteen who are either employed or are actively searching for work. This rate has not been seen this low since 1978. The shrinking labor force could be attributed to baby boomers retiring but there are beliefs that the lack of good jobs is what is leading Americans to give up looking for work.
(more…)

By IMRE Research

The unemployment rate dropped slightly over the month from 7.6 in May and June to 7.4 percent in July, increasing payroll employment by 162,000 jobs. Some notable gains include the financial activities sector adding 15,000 jobs in July, with 6,000 of those positions in commodity contracts and investments. Over the year, the financial activities sector has added 120,000 jobs, while Healthcare has added an average of 16,000 jobs per month so far in 2013. It was a slow month for the manufacturing, transportation, and construction sectors, as these industries experienced little to no change in job growth over the month. However, the motor vehicles and parts sector added 9,000 jobs over the month. This is another good indication the economy is in recovery mode as automakers are enjoying the highest US sales since 2007.
(more…)

By Building Experts Team
home light automation iphone e1375373532997 Home Connectivity Caters to New Homebuyers

Photo courtesy of freshome.com.

As the housing market continues to grow, builders and realtors are faced with meeting the demands of the new generation of homebuyers. According to a 2013 Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey of the 18-35 year old demographic, 84 percent believe technology is an absolute home essential and 64-percent would not live in a home that was not up-to-date with the latest tech capabilities.

Builders and home hardware manufacturers must find ways to cater to this generation that values technology over curb appeal and home automation over a newly renovated kitchen. These smart home systems have the stigma of being expensive luxury items, which may not succeed with this new audience. Instead, they should focus on what resonates with this group: technology, energy efficiency and convenience.

Smartphones should be at the center of this trend, providing an almost universal remote for users to control home functions such as temperature, lighting, blinds, door locks and more. As a generation that is constantly connected to their phones or tablets, controlling home systems through smartphones provides the ultimate convenience.
(more…)

What Contractors Are Saying

By Kyle Rubeling

Rob What Contractors Are SayingWe’ve been blitzed by the news the economy is improving and jobs are increasing, but are things really getting better? Reports tell us one thing, but what about speaking directly to the contractor? Wanting to hear it straight from the source, BuildIQ had the opportunity to sit down with Robert Robillard, principal of A Concord Carpenter, LLC and a leader in the tool and how-to information world to get his take on the economy, industry trends what lies ahead in the second half of 2013.

Q: You’re out working in the field everyday. Is the economy improving? What signs are you seeing? Is there reason for optimism?

A lot of clients are putting their projects on hold and work is getting scarce. Prices are dropping and trades are willing to do more for less. As an incentive to get things going, an architect friend offered my clients, family, and friends a reduction in his usual architectural fees to help jump start some projects.
Hopefully, people’s confidence in the economy will return soon and bring the construction industry around again. In this economy of bankruptcy and unemployment, it’s been very difficult finding new remodeling clients. It’s also not the time to sit back and wait for the phone to ring.
(more…)

By IMRE Research

Following several months of a roller coaster ride, consumer confidence rose again in May. The Consumer Confidence Index jumped more than 7 points to hit a five-year high of 76.2. As Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, noted, “Back-to-back monthly gains suggest that consumer confidence is on the mend,” following the impact of several policies that had left consumers feeling uneasy about the economy. The latest index showed consumers were positive about job prospects and the short-term outlook for the economy. Business conditions were expected to improve in the coming months by 19.2 percent of consumers, up two percent from the prior month. Those indicating they felt jobs are “plentiful” increased by more than one percent to 10.8 percent.
(more…)

By IMRE Research

The U.S. economy continued to move in a positive direction again this month, with several key indicators posting gains. The greatest excitement was seen with the announcement that April’s unemployment rate dropped slightly to 7.5 percent with the addition of 165,000 jobs. Professional and business services, food services, retail and healthcare all saw positive gains for the month, while hiring in the construction industry held steady. Additionally, employment numbers for both February and March were upwardly revised by a combined total of 114,000 jobs above the initial estimates. Even more telling that the economy is continuing to rebound is the fact that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment fell to its lowest level in five years. A total of 323,000 people filed first-time unemployment claims during the first week of May, down significantly from a March 2009 high of 670,000 claims.
(more…)

By IMRE Research

As sequestration took effect on March 1 and government spending cuts of more than $85 billion began to kick in, consumer confidence fell almost 10 points to 59.7 for the month. The drop virtually erased the gain seen in February after consumers quickly adjusted to a payroll tax increase levied at the start of the year. Consumers’ outlook on the present conditions, the jobs market and overall business conditions were down sharply in March, in large part due to sequestration.
(more…)

By IMRE Research

After watching consumer confidence tumble for the past three months and hit a low of 58.4 in January when a payroll tax increase took effect, the index jumped by more than eleven points in February to 69.6. The increase comes as consumers appear to have adjusted to the cut in their take-home pay and developed a renewed sense of optimism for the labor market. Those anticipating more jobs in the coming months rose to 16.7 percent, up from 14.4 percent in January. In fact, consumers’ perception of the job market was correct: unemployment fell to a four-year low of 7.7 percent for February. The U.S. Department of Labor reported the addition of 236,000 jobs for the month.

What remains to be seen is the impact of sequestration. Originally part of the debt-ceiling debates in 2011, sequestration was designed to be an incentive for Congress to come to agreement on tax and spend policies. When the Super Committee failed to act that year, it triggered the automatic federal spending cuts, which were originally slated to kick-in on January 2, 2013. However, during the fiscal cliff negotiations in late 2012, Congress voted to approve a tax relief bill, which not only helped to reduce the amount of the sequestration cuts, but shifted the date they would take effect to March 1.  As these cutbacks begin to take effect across the country, they have the potential to not only lower consumer confidence and increase unemployment, but to slow economic growth overall. Some predict that sequestration can have a negative impact of up to 1 percent on GDP.
(more…)

By Social Marketing Team

If you’re not calling upon social advocates as an extension to your wellness brand’s advocacy efforts, it’s time. Nielsen’s Global Trust Advertising Survey found 92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations, above all forms of advertising. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising. These influential brand ambassadors make up just 1% of a brand’s social community; they are primarily the ones driving the conversation and the shares.

Although 1% of your social audience may not sound like a lot, they can make a big impact. This group of loyalists can drive up to 70% of traffic to any given campaign. Identifying these influencers who are driving the conversations is the first step to understanding the audience in your social community.
(more…)

Pint-Sized Apartments

By Building Experts Team

MicroApt 300x194 Pint Sized ApartmentsWho said bigger was better anyway?

New apartment complexes coming to cities across the country are now pushing for the idea that smaller apartments are better. The trend in building more compact apartments is changing the way builders are catering to different consumers. Small-scale apartments are on the rise and tailor to Generation Y, those born between 1981 and 1999. These apartments are not only smaller in size, but are promoted as more affordable. These micro-unit dwellings can range anywhere from 220 square feet to less than 500 square feet.

Why the trend? Even though these apartments give up extra space, they also offer some of the most desirable living locations in cities across the country. They offer walkable neighborhoods where everything is easily accessible without the extra cost of a car.

Builders are equipping these residences with high-tech, sustainable elements – catering to the eco-conscious consumer. They are also fully designed from the inside, incorporating smaller furnishings, compact beds and smaller energy efficient appliances.
(more…)


©2014 | Terms of Use