Tag Archive for 'Associated Builders and Contractors'

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ABC Joins Construction Industry’s Pledge to Hire Vets

image001Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Feb. 10 joined construction industry leaders from more than 100 companies in support of their pledge to employ 150,000 veterans in the next five years—a commitment that was made during the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Veterans’ Employment in Construction National Symposium.

“ABC believes in supporting our troops by providing them with the employment opportunities available in the construction industry,” said ABC 2014 National Chairman and President and CEO of Compass Partners, LLC Dan Brodbeck. “With a projected nationwide shortage of nearly two million workers, ABC is committed to filling this skills gap, starting with our veterans.”

The construction industry is anticipated to gain roughly 1.6 million new jobs by 2022 while facing a lack of experienced laborers and the retirement of an estimated one-sixth of the current construction workforce. The pledge to hire more veterans in construction not only reflects the patriotism seen throughout the industry but addresses the skills gap seen throughout the country.

First Lady Michelle Obama and DOL Secretary Thomas Perez announced the pledge as a part of an initiative to address the challenges and opportunities America’s service members and veterans face when transitioning back into civilian employment.

ABC Reports:Nonresidential Construction Gains Jobs In January

CEU2“The hope is that the lull in employment expansion will end shortly as temperatures begin to rise.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Spending_2 3The construction industry gained 48,000 jobs in January, according to the Feb. 7 employment report by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Nonresidential construction gained 21,000 jobs, representing a significant rebound from the 14,100 jobs lost by the segment in December. Nonresidential construction accounted for 47.7 percent of January’s total construction industry job gain and 28.1 percent of the construction industry job gain in the past year.

The national construction unemployment rate expanded to 12.3 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis in January, compared with 11.4 percent in December. This was due to a combination of seasonal factors and may be impacted by the end of the government’s long-term unemployment benefits program, which may have induced people look for work in construction—an industry generally known to be in recovery.

“The fact of the matter is that we simply do not know with any conviction what is transpiring in the U.S. labor market,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “With respect to construction, January’s employment recovery is likely attributable in large measure to the fact that December construction employment was suppressed by weather. While January was also associated with bitter cold, large snowfalls and ice storms, the week during which the data was gathered last month represented a period of relative meteorological calm.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey, the national unemployment rate decreased a tenth of a percent in January to 6.6 percent. This represents the lowest unemployment rate since October 2008. The labor force participation rate increased from its historic low of 62.8 percent to 63 percent in January.

“Based on data regarding backlog, architectural billings and other leading indicators, the nonresidential construction outlook remains benign,” said Basu. “However, the last two months have not been good ones for job creation, according to this release. The hope is that the lull in employment expansion will end shortly as temperatures begin to rise.”

Nonresidential building construction employment expanded by 8,300 jobs for the month and is up by 21.9 jobs (3.3 percent) since January 2012.

Residential building construction employment rose by 13,200 jobs in January and is up by 52,200 jobs (8.8 percent) on an annual basis.

Nonresidential specialty trade contractors gained 12,900 jobs for the month and employment in that category is up by 28,400 jobs (1.4 percent) from the same time last year.

Residential specialty trade contractors gained 3,600 jobs in January and have added 69,200 jobs (4.6 percent) since January 2013.

The heavy and civil engineering construction segment gained 10,100 jobs in January and job totals are up by 6,800 (0.8 percent) on a year-over-year basis.

To view the previous Employment report, click here.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today issued the following statement in response to the U.S. House of Representatives’ introduction of immigration reform standards.

ABC“We congratulate the House Republican Conference for taking this important step toward fixing our broken immigration system in the United States,” said ABC Vice President of Government Affairs Geoff Burr. “As this push toward reform continues, we look forward to working with both the House and Senate on developing proposals that meet the needs of the construction industry.

“Our country and our industry need reforms that fix our broken system, enforce our laws and modernize our immigration structure to reflect the needs of our economy,” Burr said. “Today, I think we have moved one step closer in achieving our goal.”

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing 22,000 chapter members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at www.abc.org.

ABC Calls Obama’s “Minimum Wage” Increase a Misleading, Political Maneuver

image001Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today issued the following statement in response to reports that President Barack Obama will sign an executive order to increase the minimum wage on new federal contracts from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour.

“ABC has long held that the market should determine wages in the construction industry, not artificial government interference,” said ABC Vice President of Government Affairs Geoff Burr. “The president is once again demonstrating that he doesn’t understand how our economy works. This executive order will have little to no impact on our federal contractor members, who already pay higher wages than the president’s proposal. This seems to be nothing more than a misleading, political maneuver.”

To view this statement on ABC’s website, click here.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 22,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at www.abc.org.

Construction Materials Prices Rise Only 0.1 Percent In December

CEU2“Materials prices continue to be unusually well behaved, neither rising nor falling aggressively on a month-to-month basis.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

PPI_JanuaryConstruction materials prices expanded just 0.1 percent in December and are up 1.3 percent year over year, according to a Jan. 15 Producer Price Index released by the Department of Labor. Nonresidential construction materials prices also rose only 0.1 percent for the month and are 1 percent higher than the same time one year ago.

“Materials prices continue to be unusually well behaved, neither rising nor falling aggressively on a month-to-month basis,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “That said, there was some volatility in individual input segments, including natural gas prices, which were up 7.8 percent, and crude petroleum, which was up 7.1 percent,” Basu said. “These increases are at least partially explained by seasonal factors and do not likely foreshadow aggressive price increases going forward. At the same time, certain input prices fell, including softwood lumber, down 3.3 percent, and nonferrous wire/cable, down 1.4 percent.”

Overall, the nation’s wholesale goods prices expanded 0.4 percent in December and are up 1.2 percent year over year.

“While there is never a guarantee of input price stability, for now things seems reasonably calm,” Baus said. “The world economy is anticipated to accelerate this year to 3.6 percent growth, up from closer to 3 percent last year. That will help push the level of demand for construction materials higher, but not necessarily in ways that are especially damaging to a still-benign U.S. nonresidential construction industry outlook.”

The following materials prices increased in December:

Fabricated structural metal product prices are up 0.1 percent and have risen 0.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Natural gas prices rose 7.8 percent in December and are 4.9 percent higher than one year ago.

Natural gas prices rose 7.8 percent in December and are 4.9 percent higher than one year ago.

Crude energy prices grew 4.8 percent in December and are 4.4 percent higher year over year.

Iron and steel prices expanded 1.6 percent in December but are down 5.9 percent from the same time last year.

Prices for plumbing fixtures and fittings rose 0.1 percent for the month and are up 1.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Steel mill products prices expanded 0.3 percent for the month but are 6.3 percent lower than one year ago.

A number of key construction inputs did not experience price increases for the month:

Prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing and siding declined 0.8 percent for the month but are up 3.6 percent from last year.

Concrete products remained flat in December but are up 2.3 percent year over year.

Nonferrous wire and cable prices shed 1.4 percent on a monthly basis and are down 3.4 percent from December 2012.

Softwood lumber prices fell 3.3 percent for the month but are 6.6 percent higher than one year ago.

To view the previous Producer Price Index report, click here.