National Office Vacancy Rates at Record High


National office vacancy rates are at an all-time high, according to the CB Richard Ellis Office Vacancy Index, which measures the vacancies in downtown, suburban, and metropolitan areas.

The quarterly statistics are computed by dividing vacant space for lease by the total square footage of office space in each area. Here are the top five markets with the highest and lowest metropolitan vacancy rates.



Residential Market Snapshot

Privately owned housing starts include apartment buildings and duplexes, according to DRI-WEFA, a Lexington, Mass.-based global insight company. Next month we'll take a look at single-family housing starts, which include only homes for one unit.

  • Privately owned housing starts, which include apartment buildings and duplexes, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,609,000 in August. This is 2.2% (±6.3%) below the revised July estimate of 1,645,000, but is 3% (±6.0%) above the August 2001 rate of 1,562,000.

  • Privately owned housing completions in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,637,000. This is 2.2% (±9.5%) above the revised July estimate of 1,602,000 and 1% (±9.1%) above the August 2001 rate of 1,621,000.

  • Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,669,000. This is 2.5% (±0.9%) below the revised July rate of 1,712,000, but 3.9% (±1.0%) above the August 2001 estimate of 1,606,000.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development



Electricians' Jobs by Category

About two-thirds of the 642,000 wage and salary electricians in 2000 were employed in the construction industry, and one-third worked outside of the construction industry as maintenance electricians. An additional 56,000 electricians were self-employed, which comprises 8% of the total 698,000 electricians.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics



Electricians' Earnings

In 2000, the median hourly rate for electricians was $19.29. The middle 50% earned between $14.49 and $25.41. The lowest 10% earned less than $11.31, and the highest 10% earned more than $31.71. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of electricians in 2000 are shown at right:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics