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The Economic Perspective 8/11/2023

The Latest Trending Economic, Environmental and Demographic News Curated for You By The Balmoral Group

The Balmoral Group provides practical, professional and precise Economics, Data Analytics, and Engineering Consulting services and is part of a globally integrated team.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Hope you all can find some cool (as in: not dangerously hot) and relaxing things to do this weekend! The Balmoral Group - Seattle Office attended its first volunteer event this week, completing forest restoration work with the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. TBG staff worked to remove invasive plants, including the Himalayan Blackberry from the EC Hughes Park in West Seattle. (pictured below) Way to go team!

In this Friday's edition we have pieces on construction employment, port re-purposing, recycling advances, and more.

Enjoy the read and feedback is always appreciated! Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interested. If you'd like to view previous editions please click here, or to subscribe please click here! Have a great weekend!

Construction Employment Up in July

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction employment grew by 19,000 jobs in July, and is up 2.5% compared to the same month in 2022. By sector, residential specialty trade contractors added 13,300 jobs, nonresidential building construction gained 10,500, and heavy and civil construction increased by 2,200. Residential building construction, on the other hand, lost 5,500 jobs in July. Average hourly wages for construction production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 5.8% last month to $34.24 per hour. The overall U.S. unemployment rate declined to 3.5% in July from 3.6% in June. From ENR.

New Study of Tampa Bay Contaminant Sources

Scientists are launching a two-year study called the Nutrient Fingerprint Project to identify sources of pollution in Tampa Bay's water. The study will use advanced technology, including the EXO2 water quality monitor, to track pollutants in real time. By analyzing chemicals like sucralose and caffeine that can pass through the human body and enter the marine ecosystem, researchers aim to pinpoint pollutants responsible for excess nitrogen and harmful algal blooms. The project involves public and private organizations and aims to inspire regulatory action from Florida lawmakers to address pollution issues and restore water quality in Tampa Bay. Read more at Tampa Bay Times.

Port of Seattle to Build Living Building Challenge Facility

The oldest existing Port facility in Seattle, the Ship Supply Building at Fishermen’s Terminal, will soon become a globally recognized hub for sustainability, technology, and maritime industry. On August 8, The Port of Seattle Commission approved $32,600,000 to transform the Port facility into a home for global maritime advancements, including a brand-new Maritime Innovation Center (MInC), a headquarters for incubator and accelerator programs. This building, complete with Living Building Challenge (LBC) certifications, will inspire collaboration across industries, disciplines, and communities to grow the blue-green economy. The port will also add new wayfinding, site signage, interpretative signage, and landscaping to invite the public to explore Fisherman’s Terminal and appreciate the working waterfront. Construction of the MInC will begin in 2024. Read more here.

AI and Robotics to Make Recycling More Efficient

EverestLabs, a California-based startup, is using AI and robotics to improve the recycling process. By using 3D depth-sensing cameras their AI can identify up to 200 items in each frame to mark them for recycling. Robotic arms will than use this data to separate out trash and recyclable material based on the type of material. These robotic arms can sort trash three to four times more effectively than humans. Companies like AMP Robotics, Machinex, and Recycleye are engaging in similar efforts to automate the recycling process. Read More.

Data Visualization of the Week

El Nino Seasonal Forecasts

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is firmly into the El Niño phase (it alternates between neutral, El Niño, and La Niña). The sea surface temperature changes in this big area of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific have major seasonal climate influences around the world. For the southeast US we typically see cooler/wetter-than-average winter/spring conditions. For our friends in parts of Australia, El Niño brings elevated chances of dry conditions. Dry conditions expected in the major agricultural areas in Brazil have some experts concerned about soybean and other commodity supplies. See more from Check out NOAA’s 90-day outlooks at NOAA CPC.


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