Unemployment rate dips to 8.9%
The unemployment rate dipped from 9.0% in January to 8.9% in February, according to data released Friday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Construction employment grew by 33,000 in February, following a decline of 22,000 in January that may have reflected severe winter weather, according to the bureau. Within construction, specialty trade contractors accounted for the bulk of the February job gain (+28,000).
Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 192,000 in February. The number of unemployed persons held steady at about 13.7 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was 6.0 million and accounted for 43.9% of the unemployed.
The Gallup Underemployment
The Gallup Underemployment figure is a better measure. It is at 19.9%. This is up from 19% at the end of December 2010. Even Gallup's Unemployment rate is at 10.3%, up from 9.6% at the end of December 2010. http://www.gallup.com/poll/146453/Gallup-Finds-Unemployment-Hitting-February.aspx
Royal division expands into the United States
Royal Window and Door Profiles opened its first company-owned distribution center in the United States. The Southern Patio Door Distribution Center will supply Royal patio doors.
The division of Woodbridge, Ontario-based Royal Group opened the new Southern Patio Door Distribution Center – which is co-located with a Royal Mouldings manufacturing facility in Bristol, Tenn., and has begun to fill customer orders.
“We are very pleased to announce the opening of this Window and Door Profiles distribution center for the U.S. market," said Mark Fanelli, general manager of Royal Window and Door Profiles. "Our growing customer base in the eastern U.S. necessitates an expanded presence in the region to better support our customers and increased demand for our patio door products.”
The Southern Patio Door Distribution Center will supply Royal patio doors. The distribution center will stock Royal’s Opera and Jazz wide, slim and Impact patio doors, in fully glazed and unglazed versions. Both patio door styles are Energy Star qualified. Royal promotes its patio doors as maintenance-free and easy to install.
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Lightweight chop saw targets value market
Towson, Md.-based Porter-Cable launched its new 15 AMP Chop Saw (PC14CTSD) that has been designed to offer contractors performance, ergonomics, ease of use, and durability.
This chop saw is well-suited for mechanical contractors, electrical contractors, metal fabricators, fence builders, and many other tradesmen, according to the manufacturer. The PC14CTSD is capable of handling a number of metal cutting applications on professional jobsites.
“Our new Chop Saw is the perfect choice for value-driven contractors who are looking for professional-grade jobsite solutions at a reasonable price,” said Wil Granger, group product manager, Porter-Cable.
A 15-AMP, high torque motor delivers 3,800 RPM, which enables the new chop saw to cut through tough materials, including cast iron pipe, angle iron, threaded rod, conduit, square tubing, and more.
To address one of the most frequent user frustrations associated with chop saws – ergonomics – the PC14CTSD is equipped with a “D” handle design for comfort and control when making cuts.
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