Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shopping Centers, Commercial Real Estate and Construction Driving US Economic Growth

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Link to article:
Positive April Jobs Report Relieves CRE Industry

A sunnier-than-usual jobs report for April had investors breathing a sigh or relief that things have not slowed down.  But beyond the marquee numbers, the share of new jobs created in shopping center retail, bars, restaurants, and construction show that retail is still the driver of growth in the US.

Excerpt: "The Labor Department reported Friday morning that the US economy added 165,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 7.5%. It was a better report than many had forecast, with projections of 145,000 jobs added widely circulated.

The various industries scrambled to make sense of the numbers, at least in terms of their particular sector. The International Council of Shopping Centers, for example, noted that U.S. shopping-center retail jobs rose by 33,000 — accounting for one-fifth of all the 165,000 jobs added in April. It also reported that another 38,000 people were hired by restaurants and bars, for a total that was slightly higher in this category than the Labor Department's. No matter—it is clear retail is helping to drive the US economic bus. 'The shopping center industry is a crucial driver of the economic recovery,' said ICSC President and CEO Michael P. Kercheval, in a prepared statement. 'These numbers illustrate that retail and retail development is a major economic pillar.'

The Associated General Contractors of America Association noted that unemployment rate for construction workers fell to the lowest April level in five years, even though worker gains from March to April were limited to the residential side. It also predicted that the industry is likely to continue adding jobs for much of 2013. 'Other indicators, such as the continuing growth in architectural and engineering employment, suggest that demand for construction will expand further,' said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist, in a prepared statement.

In short, it appears that the economy is continuing its slow recovery and isn’t showing signs of a spring slowdown, Scott Homa, research director with Jones Lang LaSalle tells GlobeSt.com. 'Although the workforce participation rate remains at historical lows, and the number of underemployed and discouraged workers remains highly inflated, it’s encouraging to see the national unemployment rate dip as far as it has and for the labor market to continue its favorable trajectory,' he says.

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