This morning’s report on May job creation was well above the expectations of various economists. The Dept. of Labor Statistics reported 280,000 new jobs created in May. That followed on the heels of ADP’s report on Wednesday of 210,000 private sector jobs added and a PA Dept. of Labor report that Metro Pittsburgh saw 24,000 jobs added in May.
The raw numbers were good but ther were some more subtle improvements within today’s report. The majority of which were in service, healthcare and education – all higher paying jobs – and the average wage showed a 2.3% increase year-over-year. That’s an expansion of the trend of growing wage rates. Another good number was the increase in the unemployment rate to 5.5%. That indicates that the stronger labor market is attracting more permanent workers who weren’t in the market to look for jobs.
Although the regional bid market is still seasonally slow, there is movement on some of the higher-profile jobs. Some preliminary pricing is being done on the complicated re-purposing of the upper floors at the Macy’s Building. CMU has let contracts for the extension of its utilities infrastructure to prepare for construction new utility service north of Forbes for the Tepper Quad. While there is no confirmation from anyone involved in the Google TI at Bakery Square 2.0, it appears that PJ Dick has been selected to do the build-out. PJ Dick has also been selected as construction mgr. for the $12 million, 50,000 sq. ft. new school for the Watson Institute in South Fayette Township. Work has started on the $12.4 million McKee Elementary School in West Allegheny School District. Hudson Construction is the general contractor.