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Construction’s Percentage Job Gains Lead All Economic Sectors in October

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 6—The U.S. construction industry added more jobs in October than during the previous four months combined, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Construction employment expanded by 31,000 net new jobs last month after adding 12,000 jobs in September (revised upward from 8,000). Nonresidential construction employment increased by 20,100 jobs in October after adding 11,100 jobs in September (revised upward from 6,800).
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Nonresidential Construction Spending Expands for Seventh Consecutive Month

August marked the seventh consecutive month nonresidential construction spending expanded according to an Oct. 1 release supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau. Nonresidential spending totaled $696.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis in August, a 0.3 percent increase from the previous month and a 12.3 percent increase from the same time last year. The Census Bureau downwardly revised July’s estimate from $696.1 billion to $694.1 billion.  “Job growth is fueling both consumer spending and the absorption of space, all of this is good for construction spending,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “While construction spending has expanded by more than 12 percent over the past year, that is not to suggest that macroeconomic risks do not abound. Interest rates are likely to head higher going forward and there is no guarantee that energy prices will remain subdued. While low energy prices have caused some regional economies to slow, inv ... Read the rest of entry »

Construction Employment Rises Despite Lackluster National Jobs Report

U.S. construction industry employment edged higher in September despite a disappointing jobs report for the overall U.S. economy. The number of construction jobs expanded by 8,000 on a net basis in September, with nonresidential builders and specialty trade contractors collectively creating 6,800 of those net new jobs. The number of jobs in the heavy and civil engineering category declined by 2,200, however. “Construction was one of the few bright spots in today’s report as residential and nonresidential construction remain two of the nation’s five leading growth segments,” said Anirban Basu, Associated Builders and Contractors’ chief economist. “The industry’s unemployment rate is down 1.5 percentage points from September 2014 and is essentially at its lowest point in eight years. There are 125,000 fewer unemployed construction workers than there were one year ago, and construction employment is up by 205,000 positions on a year-over-year basis, one of the best pe ... Read the rest of entry »

Construction Material Prices Plunge in September

Prices for inputs to construction industries plunged 1.6 percent in September after shedding 0.9 percent in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Year-over-year prices were down 5.3 percent for the month, the largest yearly decrease since October of 2009. Inputs to nonresidential construction prices also declined, losing 1.6 percent for the month and 6 percent for the year. Only three of the 11 key input prices expanded on a monthly basis in September, while six experienced double-digit year-over-year declines, according to analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors.   “The global economy has continued to soften in recent weeks, with additional concerns directed at formerly fast-growing nations like China, Brazil and Russia,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Europe continues to muddle along and the Canadian economy remains relatively flat. All of this has conspired to weaken demand for global commodities even as supply of many inputs continues to be eleva ... Read the rest of entry »

How Will the Clean Power Plan Affect Your Projects?

Building professionals know there are few complications more frustrating than finding out that a project’s fenestration fails to meet energy codes. As codes become stricter, the cost of compliance related to window, door, skylight and curtain wall failure will go up, threatening to put projects over budget and behind schedule.

A new challenge looming for building professionals is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) forthcoming Clean Power Plan (CPP). The plan mandates a carbon emissions reduction of 32 percent nationwide by 2030, with individual targets set for each state. State targets are based on “building blocks,” including the assumption that demand-side energy efficiency can improve by 1.5 percent per year for the next fifteen years. The EPA is encouraging states to tighten building energy codes in order to meet this aggressive goal.

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Construction Input Prices Trend Lower in July

Prices for inputs to construction industries declined 0.1 percent in July after increasing 0.2 percent in June, according to the Aug. 14 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Year-over-year prices were down 3 percent in July and have been down on an annual basis for each of the past eight months. Prices of inputs to nonresidential construction industries declined 0.3 percent on a monthly basis and are down 3.9 percent on a yearly basis. 

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Bob Harrison: Toolbox Safety Discussion

DEET is an excellent mosquito repellent, but it is a fairly poor tick repellent. 

There are pros and cons to each product, but as a tick repellent, permethrin wins hands down. Permethrin is an
insecticide derived from a chemical found in the chrysanthemum family of plants. It is a spray that is used on clothes only, and is deactivated and made less effective by the oils on our skin. Once it is sprayed on our clothing, it becomes odorless and can last for several weeks with a single application. Once it is applied, most ticks will curl up and fall off if they make contact, and will eventually die if there is prolonged exposure.
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Bryan Hoylman: State’s prevailing wage issue defined

For many in West Virginia, the recent spat over the reform
of prevailing wage laws has created as much confusion as it has concern. Organized
labor unions came to the West Virginia Capital in droves to protest any changes
to our state’s prevailing wage laws that, they claimed, would “cut workers’
wages.” Now they are standing strongly behind the newly proposed methodology,
and are waging a public affairs offensive to ensure that taxpayers are unaware
of what this process was actually intended to do, determine a true prevailing
wage.  Read the rest of entry »

Building a Culture of Caring

Posted @ 6/26/2015 5:03 AM By Donna Puglisi                  Creating a culture that helps a company retain employees, win work and leave a positive impression on the community can be a difficult challenge. For The Beck Group, based in Dallas, success has come from a culture of caring that permeates all areas of the business. “One of our four core values is caring—defined as showing concern, empathy and compassion for others, ourselves and our environment,” says Shannah Haley, Beck’s director of marketing and communications. “This is foundational to who we are and who we’ve been as a company for our 103-year history.” In Tampa, Fla., Beck has had a profound effect on the area’s educational institutions—raising more than $1.3 million for the University of Tampa Scholarship Program an ... Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Growth Continues in May

The U.S. construction industry added 17,000 jobs in May according to the June 5 preliminary estimate released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. April’s estimate was revised downward from 45,000 to 35,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 8,200 jobs in May, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors adding 5,600 jobs and nonresidential building employment expanding by 2,600 jobs. Residential construction employment added 8,500 net new jobs for the month.   
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