Economy Watch Weekly: Declining Unemployment, Strong Prospects Define 2018

Unemployment rates in May 2018 were lower than a year earlier. Despite labor shortages and rising interest rates, contractors were optimistic in the first quarter of 2018. Economy Editor Dees Stribling gives a breakdown of this topic, for the week ending June 29, 2018. 
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Unemployment rates were lower in May 2018 than a year earlier in 350 of the 388 U.S. metropolitan areas, higher in only 20 areas and unchanged in 18 areas, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Wednesday, June 27. 

According to the Associated Builders and Contractors’ Construction Confidence Index, contractors were quite optimistic during the first quarter of 2018, despite labor shortages and rising interest rates, and emerging concerns about a trade war and construction materials prices. Economy Editor Dees Stribling gives a breakdown of these two topics, for the week ending June 29, 2018.