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TABLE 3.—Estimated construction expenditures 1 in the United States, selected months of 1945 and 1946
Estimated construction expenditures represent the monetary value of work put in place in continental United States during the period indicated. These figures should not be confused with the data on value of construction reported in the table on urban building construction (table 4).
Estimates of new construction were prepared jointly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Office of Domestic Commerce (a successor to the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce) and inclucle expenditures for new construction, major additions, and alterations.
Expenditures for floating drydocks and facilities for the production of atomic bombs are excluded. Mainly river, harbor, flood control, reclamation, and power projects.
Includes water supply, sewage disposal, and miscellaneous public-service enterprises.
Covers privately financed structural repairs of the type for which building permits are generally required.
Over a third of a million more workers were employed on nonfarm residential building and repair in December 1946 than in January— more than half the total employment gain on construction over the year. Almost every category of construction activity shared with home building in the employment rise during the year, nonresidential building and repair adding 109,000 workers, highway work 89,000, and public utilities 55,000.
Continuing the down trend which started in September, permit valuations of urban building (including the value of Federal construction contracts awarded) dropped 67 million dollars in November to a total of 268 million dollars. Almost two-thirds of the decrease during the month was accounted for by the 22-percent decline in new resi
dential building valuations, which fell from 193 million to 150 million dollars. New nonresidential building, however, decreased only 7 million dollars (9 percent) to 77 million dollars, and additions, alterations, and repairs at 41 million dollars were down 17 million dollars (29 percent) from the preceding month.
Ordinarily a decrease in building activity is to be expected in November, since by that time winter weather has already set in in many parts of the country. November 1946, however, brought other uncertainties for the construction industry in addition to seasonal disturbances. On November 9, wage controls and practically all price controls were removed, including those affecting construction workers and building materials. Other controls introduced during the Veterans' Emergency Housing Program, including regulatiors affecting priorities and producers' subsidies, remained in effect. It is quite likely that many builders held back plans for new projects, on the one hand, because of uncertainties regarding future building costs, and, on the other hand, in anticipation of additional decontrol orders.
Among the outstanding privately financed individual undertakings for which building permits were issued in urban areas in November are 3 multiple dwelling projects, each valued at over a million dollars. Two of them are insurance company investment projects-one of 364 units to be constructed in the Manhattan Borough of New York City and another of 258 units to be built in Boston. The third is a 142-unit project, financed by a trust company, to house UNO personnel in Queens Borough, New York City.
In addition, there were 3 nonresidential building projects scheduled to be started during the month for each of which the permit valuation was in excess of a million dollars: (1) an 8-million-dollar telephone company building in Boston, (2) a factory building (2 million dollars) for a brewing company in Milwaukee, and (3) a 1-million-dollar building for a hot metal converting and mixing company in Lorain, Ohio.
The one outstanding federally financed undertaking for which contracts were awarded in urban areas in November is a 300-bed Veterans Administration hospital in Sioux Falls, S. Dak., valued at 3% million dollars.
TABLE 4.-Permit valuation1 of urban building construction,2 by class of construction and by source of funds, selected months of 1945 and 1946
1 Includes value of Federal construction contracts awarded. * Estimates of non-Federal (private, and State and local government) urban building construction are based upon building-permit reports received from places containing about 85 percent of the urban population of the country; estimates of federally financed projects are compiled from notifications of construction contracts awarded, which are obtained from other Federal agencies.
3 Preliminary. 4 Revised.
Includes value of dormitories and other nonhousekeeping residential buildings in addition to housekeeping units shown in table 5.
Includes $8,440,000, the estimated cost of 1,286 dwelling units in New York City Housing Authority projects. These projects, although financed solely with city funds, are included with Federal projects in order to segregate public from private housing. All other types of building construction financed with State or local government funds are included under "non-Federal."
7 Includes $45,188,850, the estimated cost of 8,027 dwelling units contained in New York City Housing Authority projects.
8 Value less than $500,000.
TABLE 5.-Estimated number and permit valuation of new dwelling units scheduled to be started in all areas, selected months of 1945 and 1946
Includes value of Federal construction contracts awarded.
2 See footnote 2, table 4, for source of urban estimates.
Includes 1- and 2-family dwellings with stores.
Includes multifamily dwellings with stores.
7 For number of, and estimated cost of, dwelling units contained in New York City Housing Authority projects but included here with federally financed housing, see table 4, footnotes 6 and 7.
Hours and Earnings
In October 1946 average hourly and weekly earnings in private building construction reached the highest level reported since January 1940 when monthly data first became available $1.53 for hourly earnings and $59.20 for weekly earnings. Hourly and weekly pay were highest this October in the case of almost all reporting groups, with the exception of the excavation and foundation and the masonry groups. The earnings reported are for all classes of workers-skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled.
Electrical workers, with a longer average workweek and somewhat higher hourly earnings, as usual, topped all other groups in average weekly earnings in October 1946, averaging more than $70 for the first time in the nearly 7 years for which monthly data have been reported. TABLE 6.-Average hours and earnings on private construction projects for selected types of work, selected months of 1945 and 19461
Roofing and sheet
Highway and streets.
! Includes all firms reporting during the months shown (about 9,000) but not necessarily identical establishments.
Hourly earnings when multiplied by weekly hours of work may not exactly equal weekly earnings be. cause of rounding.
Not available prior to February 1946.
Includes types not shown separately.
Labor Force, November 1946
WHO IS COUNTED IN THE LABOR FORCE
Labor force.- Persons 14 years of age and over who are
employed or unemployed during the census week (the week
containing the eighth day of the month).
full or part time for pay or profit; (2) work without pay
with definite instructions to return to work within 30 days.
The civilian labor force, employment, and unemployment remained virtually unchanged between October and November, according to the Bureau of the Census Monthly Report on the Labor Force. In November 1946, approximately 58,970,000 persons were in the civilian labor force, including 57,040,000 employed and 1,930,000 unemployed.
Unemployment remained close to the 2-million mark for the fourth successive month. Approximately 4 out of 5 persons seeking work in November were men; nearly 2 out of 5 were veterans.
An increase of 10,000 in employment between October and November represented the net effect of divergent movements in agricultural and nonagricultural employment. The number of farm workers declined seasonally by 720,000 during the month as fall harvests were completed in many areas. Nonfarm employment expanded by 730,000, largely reflecting the continued inflow of veterans and the usual shifting of men and women from farm to nonfarm activities at this time of year. Note on Census revision
The Census Bureau has revised its labor force estimates, July 1945 to October 1946, in order to take account of improved estimates of the male civilian population now available for this period. The main effect of the revision on the current estimates is to lower non