Tag Archive for 'Associated Builders and Contractors'

ABC Joins National Initiative to Address Inequality of Opportunity

Associated Builders and Contractors today announced it is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on a national initiative to address inequality of opportunity.ABC will join the U.S. Chamber’s national town hall event on June 25 where business and community leaders will discuss concrete actions that can be taken by government and the private sector to address inequality through education, employment, entrepreneurship and criminal justice reform. As a partner on this important initiative, ABC will also host local and industry dialogues to further the discussion.

“Now more than ever, diversity, inclusion and equity must be the forefront of all business decisions,” said Brad Lewis, chair of ABC’s Diversity Committee and corporate director of supplier diversity for Hensel Phelps. “On behalf of ABC and its 21,000-plus members, we look forward to partnering with the U.S. Chamber to address the inequity in our country, develop action items that can be implemented in our workplaces and communities and meet the needs of a 21st century workforce.” 

“The moral case for greater diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace is indisputable, and there’s overwhelming evidence that greater diversity benefits the American economy, businesses, communities and employees,” said U.S. Chamber President Suzanne Clark. “We are proud to partner with ABC on this initiative and help develop a robust plan of action.” 

This national initiative will build on the work already undertaken by ABC’s Diversity Committee—formed to better reach underrepresented communities within the construction sector—and provides leadership and direction to chapters and member companies to promote diversity as an empowering competitive advantage through education, awareness and business practices.
 
Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 69 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at abc.org.   

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Inches Higher in May; Contractor Confidence Continues to Rebound

Associated Builders and Contractors reported today that its Construction Backlog Indicator rose to 7.9 months in May, an increase of less than 0.1 months from April’s reading. Furthermore, based on an ABC member survey conducted May 20-June 3, results indicate that confidence among U.S. construction industry leaders continued to rebound from the historically low levels observed in the March survey.

Nonresidential construction backlog is down 0.8 months compared to May 2019 and declined year over year in every industry, classification and region. Backlog in the heavy industrial category, however, increased by nearly one month in May after reaching its lowest level in the history of the series in April.  

Associated Builders and Contractors reported today that its Construction Backlog Indicator rose to 7.9 months in May, an increase of less than 0.1 months from April’s reading. Furthermore, based on an ABC member survey conducted May 20-June 3, results indicate that confidence among U.S. construction industry leaders continued to rebound from the historically low levels observed in the March survey.

Nonresidential construction backlog is down 0.8 months compared to May 2019 and declined year over year in every industry, classification and region. Backlog in the heavy industrial category, however, increased by nearly one month in May after reaching its lowest level in the history of the series in April.  

“Given the depth of the economic downturn and myriad other issues facing America today, backlog and contractor confidence data have held up better than one might have anticipated,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “But the marketplace is still tilted toward pessimism. For instance, more contractors expect sales and profit margins to decline than increase over the next six months, which is consistent with anecdotal information suggesting that many project owners are considering postponing projects and possibly rebidding them.

“After falling meaningfully in April, backlog remained relatively unchanged in May, hinting at a stable nonresidential construction marketplace,” said Basu. “However, the underlying survey received fewer responses compared to earlier months in the COVID-19 crisis, perhaps suggesting that some contractors are no longer operating at previous capacity, inducing available work to move toward better-positioned contractors. To the extent that these stronger contractors are reflected in the survey, this would tend to bolster average backlog even in the context of a subdued marketplace.

“Contractors still expect to boost staffing levels over the next six months,” said Basu. “But this may simply be a function of jobsites reopening as construction shutdowns end. Almost 70% of respondents had jobsites shut down due to government mandates and other reasons, and with labor shortages in place before the pandemic, contractors may have residual staffing needs. It remains to be seen whether expected employment growth going forward coincide.

Note: The reference months for the Construction Backlog Indicator and Construction Confidence Index data series were revised on May 12 to better reflect the survey period. CBI quantifies the previous month’s work under contract based on the latest financials available, while CCI measures contractors’ outlook for the next six months. 
Click here for historical CCI and CBI data and here for methodology. Visit abc.org/economics for the CBI and CCI reports, plus analysis of spending, employment, GDP and the Producer Price Index.

Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 69 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at abc.org.  

Construction Employment Sees Record Rebound in May, Says ABC

The construction industry added 464,000 net new jobs in May, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. May represented the largest monthly increase in construction jobs since the government began tracking employment in 1939, a drastic improvement from April, which recorded the industry’s largest month-over-month job loss.

While nonresidential construction employment lost more than 570,000 jobs on net in April, a total of 237,000 net new jobs were added in May with job gains in all three nonresidential subsegments. May 2020 nonresidential employment was 286,000 jobs lower compared to May 2019.

The construction unemployment rate fell to 12.7% in May, up 9.5 percentage points from the same time last year, but down 3.9 percentage points from April 2020. Unemployment across all industries fell to 13.3% in May, down from 14.7% in April.

“One way to look at this stunning jobs report is to suggest that economists missed the mark by approximately 10.5 million jobs,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Economists polled by Dow Jones had forecasted a decline exceeding 8 million jobs. Instead, the economy added a bit more than 2.5 million jobs. It’s also possible that economists missed the mark by two to four weeks, as the economy opened up faster than most economists expected and consumers have been far more willing to engage the economy than many thought possible given the ongoing personal and public health risks presented by COVID-19.

“For contractors, this is purely good news,” said Basu. “With the economy beginning its recovery sooner and more dramatically than anticipated, fewer projects are likely to be postponed or canceled. Combined with rising contractor confidence, as indicated by ABC’s Construction Confidence Index, this will also help accelerate the recovery of state and local government finances as tax collections surge, ultimately resulting in more monies available to finance infrastructure. That said, state and local government finances remain in tough shape, with many local government workers losing jobs in May.“Make no mistake—these remain treacherous times,” said Basu. “Though economic recovery may have begun, there is still the possibility of a resurgence in infections as stores, restaurants and other businesses reopen. Moreover, while unemployment dipped to 13.3% in May, it remains elevated. Labor force participation has been rocked in recent months, and it may be the case that many dislocated workers, including construction workers, will remain out of the labor force for an indefinite period. There is also a presidential election later this year, which will create further uncertainty for economic decision makers, including among those who purchase construction services.”

Visit abc.org/economics for the Construction Backlog Indicator and Construction Confidence Index, plus analysis of spending, employment, GDP and the Producer Price Index.

Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 69 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at abc.org.   

TRIP Reports: ILLINOIS MOTORISTS LOSE $18.3 BILLION PER YEAR ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES – AS MUCH AS $2,559 PER DRIVER.

ILLINOIS MOTORISTS LOSE $18.3 BILLION PER YEAR ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES – AS MUCH AS $2,559 PER DRIVER. LACK OF FUNDING WILL LEAD TO FURTHER DETERIORATION, INCREASED CONGESTION AND HIGHER COSTS TO MOTORISTS

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Illinois motorists a total of $18.3 billion statewide annually – as much as $2,559 per driver in some urban areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge, and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Illinois, according to a new report released by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit.

The TRIP report, Illinois Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,”finds that throughout Illinois, more than two-fifths of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition and eight percent of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient. The report also finds that Illinois’ major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce.

Driving on roads in Illinois costs motorists a total of $18.3 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Chicago, Champaign-Urbana, Metro East, Peoria-Bloomington, Rockford and Springfield urban areas.  A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area, along with a statewide total, is below.

The TRIP report finds that 19 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in Illinois are in poor condition and an additional 23 percent are in mediocre condition, costing the state’s drivers an additional $5 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

“This report highlights how expensive it can be for Illinois drivers when the state does not maintain its basic infrastructure,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch. “A stronger transportation system is vital to stronger business and a stronger Illinois. We must act now to improve our economy and quality of life in Illinois through infrastructure investment.”

Eight percent of Illinois’ bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. The condition of state-maintained bridges in Illinois is anticipated to decline through 2023 based on current funding.  Forty-one percent of Illinois’ locally and state-maintained bridges have been rated in fair condition.  A fair rating indicates that a bridge’s structural elements are sound but minor deterioration has occurred to the bridge’s deck, substructure or superstructure.

“Poorly maintained roads are both a financial burden and safety hazard for Illinois motorists,” said Nick Jarmusz, midwest director of public affairs for AAA – The Auto Club Group.  “The investments necessary to rebuild our infrastructure would cost a fraction of what drivers are currently paying in the form of additional vehicle expenses, to say nothing of the increased risk of crashes and injuries.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation projects that, under current funding levels, the percentage of state-maintained roads and bridges in need of repairs will increase significantly in the next five years.

Traffic congestion throughout Illinois is worsening, causing up to 63 annual hours of delay for the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas and costing the state’s drivers a total of $8.5 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

Traffic crashes in Illinois claimed the lives of nearly 5,100 people between 2013 and 2017. Illinois’ overall traffic fatality rate of 1.02 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2017 is lower than the national average of 1.16.  The fatality rate on Illinois’ non-interstate rural roads is approximately two-and-a-half times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.82). The financial impact of traffic crashes costs Illinois drivers a total of $4.8 billion annually.

The efficiency and condition of Illinois’ transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.  Annually, $2.9 trillion in goods are shipped to and from Illinois, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to relocate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system. The design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Illinois support 154,001 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy.

“These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the federal, state and local levels of government,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate funding, Illinois’ transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth, safety, and quality of life.”

 

ILLINOIS KEY TRANSPORTATION FACTS

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

Driving on Illinois roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack some desirable safety features costs Illinois drivers a total of $18.3 billion each year. TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on rough roads, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.

 

ILLINOIS ROADS PROVIDE A ROUGH RIDE

Due to inadequate state and local funding, forty-two percent of Illinois’ major roads and highways are in poor or mediocre condition.   The condition of state-maintained roads and bridges in Illinois is anticipated to decline through 2023 based on current funding.

 

ILLINOIS BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Eight percent of Illinois’ bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components.  The condition of state-maintained bridges in Illinois is anticipated to decline through 2023 based on current funding.  Forty-one percent of Illinois’ locally and state-maintained bridges have been rated in fair condition.

 

ILLINOIS ROADS ARE INCREASINGLY CONGESTED

Congested roads choke commuting and commerce and cost Illinois drivers $8.5 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel. Drivers in the state’s largest urban areas lose up to $1,500 and spend as much as two-and-a-half days each year in congestion.

ILLINOIS TRAFFIC SAFETY AND FATALITIES

Nearly 5,100 people were killed in traffic crashes in Illinois from 2013 to 2017. Traffic crashes in which a lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor imposed $4.8 billion in economic costs in 2017.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The health and future growth of Illinois’ economy is riding on its transportation system. Each year, $2.9 trillion in goods are shipped to and from Illinois, mostly by truck. By 2045, total freight tonnage being shipped in and out of Illinois is projected to grow by 40 percent, with 70 percent of the added tonnage moved by truck.

A report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association found that the design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Illinois supports 154,001 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $6.5 billion annually. Approximately 2.6 million full-time jobs in Illinois in key industries like tourism, manufacturing, retail sales, agriculture are completely dependent on the state’s transportation infrastructure network.

For the full report visit  TRIP

ABC Reports: Construction Employment Retains Momentum in June, Says ABC; Unemployment Rate Increases as Labor Force Grows

Construction Employment Retains Momentum in June, Says ABC; Unemployment Rate Increases as Labor Force Grows
The U.S. construction industry added 13,000 net new jobs in June after adding 29,000 net new jobs in May (revised upward from 25,000+), according to an analysis by the Associated Builders and Contractors of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry has added 282,000 net new jobs during the past calendar year, a 4.1 percent increase.

Nonresidential construction employment increased by 8,600 net jobs for the month. The majority of that growth came from the heavy and civil engineering subsector, which added 6,100 net jobs. The nonresidential building subsector lost 200 net jobs in June after losing 5,000 net jobs in May.

The construction industry unemployment rate increased to 4.7 percent in June, 0.3 percentage points higher on a monthly basis and 0.2 percentage points higher on a yearly basis. The national unemployment rate for all industries increased to 4 percent largely due to an expanding labor force.

“Today’s employment report represents a source of encouragement for most contractors,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “There is evidence of ongoing hiring in both public and private construction categories. Perhaps most encouraging was the 6,100 net new jobs added in the heavy and civil engineering component, an indication of stepped-up infrastructure spending. This comes as little surprise since the ongoing economic expansion has helped to strengthen the balance sheets of state and local governments, positioning them to spend more aggressively on capital projects.

“Most private construction segments were also associated with net job creations in June,” said Basu. “While the construction spending data indicates some loss of momentum in certain private construction segments, the employment data do not seem to indicate any meaningful turbulence. During the past year, nonresidential specialty trade contractors, many of which are engaged in private construction projects, have expanded their collective payrolls by more than 100,000 positions, or by 4.3 percent. Many contractors continue to say that their backlogs remain robust and that their leading challenge is securing enough trained workers to deliver forthcoming construction services.

“The overall economy continues to produce jobs at a pace that exceeds consensus expectations,” said Basu. “Despite all the focus on rising interest rates, mounting inflationary pressures, tariffs and trade wars, the U.S. economy continues to deliver new opportunities for businesses and job seekers alike. In short, economic momentum persists. This strongly suggests that contractors will remain busy, and that additional opportunities to bid for work are in the cards.”

 

 

 

Visit ABC Construction Economics for the Construction Backlog Indicator, Construction Confidence Index and state unemployment reports, plus analysis of spending, employment, GDP and the Producer Price Index.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 21,000 members. For more information visit abc.org.