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Labor Data Points to Beginning of Job Creation Process

The December 84,000-job loss figure released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was more than projected, but a three-month data review suggests that labor conditions are improving at a pace better than expected.
According to a recent report by the Portland Cement Association (PCA), which represents cement companies in the United States and Canada, the combination of BLS upward data revisions and better than expected job market performance resulted in only 501,000 job losses during August-December 2009 versus a predicted 861,000.
"There is evidence that the job creation process has already begun," Ed Sullivan, PCA chief economist said.  "Typically, extended work hours, overtime, and temporary hiring precede job creation." If the labor market sustains its better than expected performance from the fourth quarter, it could lead to a quicker healing of the underlying fundamentals surrounding construction, Sullivan said.

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