Budget Delayed as Labor Market Strains Under Growth
June 28, 2017
The rollout of the GOP budget for 2018 will be released after the July 4th recess. President Trump has also nominated a second attorney to the NLRB. The labor market continues to grow, causing problems with construction. Home prices are starting to cool overall, however, there are some markets with double digit growth.
- President Donald Trump selected a second Republican, labor-law attorney William Emanuel, to fill a vacant seat on the National Labor Relations Board, the agency refereeing disputes between unions and businesses. If Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Trump’s earlier choice, Washington attorney Marvin Kaplan, both win Senate confirmation, the board would be controlled by Republicans for the first time in nearly a decade. [WSJ]
- House Republicans have delayed the rollout of their budget for the 2018 fiscal year until after members return from a July 4 recess, according to lawmakers and aides, amid continuing negotiations over proposed mandatory spending cuts. House Republicans are close to wrapping up a deal that would set base military spending at $621.5 billion, surpassing the $549 billion limit under current law, House GOP aides said earlier this week. They are likely to set nonmilitary spending at $511 billion, which is below the limit of $516 billion under current law. The new fiscal year begins in October. Lawmakers said the biggest remaining issue was how big a mandatory spending cut they want to lock themselves into in the budget document. [WSJ]
Economic Indicators & News
- Home-price growth slowed in April for the first time in months, a trend that, if it continues, could signal that the market finally is starting to cool as buyers weary of rapid price gains. Economists are concerned, however, about a handful of markets that have been seeing double-digit or near-double-digit growth. Seattle led the way in April with a 12.9% home-price increase. Portland reported a 9.3% year-over-year gain, and Dallas, which recently replaced Denver in the top three, reported an 8.4% annual increase in home prices. [WSJ]
- About two-thirds of the contractors who are struggling with the labor shortages gripping the construction industry say it has become a challenge to finish jobs on time. More than one-third of contractors said they are being forced to turn work down and 58% said they are putting in higher bids. Three-quarters of those who said they are having difficulty finding skilled labor said they are simply asking their employees to work harder. Labor shortages are partly due to the increasing number of construction projects moving forward. During the first four months of this year, construction spending amounted to $359.5 billion, 5.8% more than the same period in 2016. Also, tens of thousands of workers left the building trades during the economic downturn. [WSJ]