Tag Archive for 'construction industry'

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ECA Taps Devine to Manage Midwest Sales

John Devine, Midwest Regional Sales Manager

John Devine, Midwest Regional Sales Manager

Equipment Corporation of America (ECA), the leading distributor of foundation construction equipment in North America, has named John Devine Midwest Regional Sales Manager. He will manage all of the firm’s product lines in Western Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.

Devine has 25 years of construction equipment sales experience in his coverage area. His specialties include sales management, branch management, and territory and product line expansion in both distribution and manufacturing.

“We look forward to John’s contribution to ECA due to his wealth of experience in the manufacturing and distribution of construction equipment,” said Executive Vice President Ben Dutton. “His local knowledge and reputation will complement the ECA brand.”

Devine, a resident of Germantown, Wisconsin, graduated from University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He enjoys hunting, recreational sports, and home improvement projects in his spare time.

About Equipment Corporation of America: ECA has been a leading supplier of foundation construction equipment in the Eastern United States and Eastern Canada for nearly a century. We are exclusive distributors for BAUER Drills, Klemm Anchor and Micropile Drills, RTG Piling Rigs, Pileco Diesel Pile Hammers, HPSI Vibratory Pile Hammers, Word International Drill Attachments, Dawson Construction Products, and Grizzly Side Grip Vibros. ECA offers sales, rentals, service, and parts from six facilities throughout the Eastern U.S. and Eastern Canadian Provinces.

Wells Fargo Reports: Employment: Slower Job Growth More in Line with Weak Q1

Wells_Fargo_Securities_logoMarch registered a weak gain in jobs and prior months were revised downward. This indicates that weather did have an impact and reinforces our view that first quarter GDP will come in around just one percent.

Job Growth Falls Back to Earth

Job growth slowed in March, as nonfarm payrolls increased 126,000. Over the past three months, employment gains have now averaged 197,000—a more modest pace than over the second half of 2014. This is more consistent with our expectations of 0.9 percent growth in the first quarter compared to the previously reported January and February average of 276,000.

Job gains were still recorded in a broad set of sectors, including professional & business services, education & health services, finance, leisure & hospitality and retail, but the pace of gains was more modest (top graph). Mining sector employment fell again in March, down 11,000. Manufacturing payrolls edged down by 1,000, with the workweek ticking down, suggesting some modest impact from the stronger dollar.

The unemployment rate and employment-population ratio held steady at 5.5 percent and 59.3 percent, respectively, even as the labor force participation rate edged down to 62.7 percent.

Hours Worked Edge Down But Still Supportive of Growth

The average workweek fell back to 34.5 hours, but the drop was largely concentrated in the goods-producing sector and the transportation and leisure & hospitality sectors. These industries have greater exposure to the impact of the port shutdown and related supply chain bottlenecks, as well as weather, the dollar and the drop in oil prices. On a three-month average annualized basis, total hours worked have risen at a 2.2 percent rate, down 0.2 percent in March (middle graph). So, while overall economic growth will continue, the first quarter will likely be the weakest quarter this year.

Wages a Rare Bright Spot

One piece of the report that came in better than expected was average hourly earnings, which rose 0.3 percent in March. The gain puts the year-ago rate back at 2.1 percent, roughly in line with the pace of wage growth over the past year. In the past few months, some large companies have made headlines with plans to increase wages for their lowest-paid workers. Given that many of these companies are in the retail and hospitality industries, which pay the lowest average hourly wages among major industries, the effect on overall wages is likely to be muted and lagged. That said, it is another indication of the labor market tightening. In addition, not only are large businesses raising wages, but small businesses have been planning to increase wages at a rate that would suggest an acceleration in average hourly earnings (bottom chart). With job gains continuing to run well ahead of labor force growth, we expect tightening in the labor market to continue and for wage growth to pick up over the course of the year.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, NFIB and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC1

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ABC REPORTS: Nonresidential Construction Employment Ticks up Despite Dismal Overall Jobs Report

CEU2“Today’s jobs report was a stunner and construction was not spared as the sector lost jobs for the first time in 15 months.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Employment_4.3.15Nonresidential construction added 5,000 net new jobs in March, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors leading the way by contributing 4,400 new jobs, according to the April 3 Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate. As a whole, the U.S. construction industry lost 1,000 jobs in March, while February’s construction employment estimate (29,000 new jobs) was unrevised. The residential sector also regressed in March, losing 2,800 jobs.

“Today’s jobs report was a stunner and construction was not spared as the sector lost jobs for the first time in 15 months,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Coming into the week, the consensus estimate for March’s net new job creation was in the range of 250,000. An ADP report released earlier in the week indicated that the U.S. private sector only added 189,000 jobs, which brought the consensus estimate closer to 200,000, however the initial Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimate for March fell well short of even that diminished expectation.

“The knee-jerk reaction is to blame the weather,” said Basu. “While that seems natural, the fact of the matter is that the latest employment release comes on top of a sea of other data indicating that the U.S. economy has been losing momentum since the third quarter of last year and retail sales and manufacturing-related data have been among the sources of disappointment.

“Weather serves as a potential partial explanation, but another possibility is that some of the slowdown in job growth is attributable to reduced activity in the nation’s energy sector,” said Basu. “While lower fuel prices are helping to support various forms of activity, the impact on oil producers has been jarring. Those operating in the oil exploration and production segments of the economy have come to dominate layoff announcements recently. It may be that the negative impacts of lower energy prices are felt more intensely in the short-term, but that the positive effects will become obvious later this year.”

The national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.5 percent in March, though this is not necessarily a good thing. The labor force lost 96,000 workers in March after losing 178,000 in February. The labor force participation rate currently sits at 62.7 percent, equaling its lowest level since 1977. The construction unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent in March, a 1.1 percent decrease from March. The falling construction unemployment rate is not something to celebrate, though; this too is a direct reflection of a shrinking labor force.

Construction employment for the month and the past year breaks down as follows:

  • Nonresidential building construction employment expanded by 5,700 net new jobs for the month and is up by 31,600 jobs (4.6 percent) since February 2014.
  • Residential building construction employment shrank by 500 jobs in February, but is still up by 45,300 jobs (7 percent) on an annual basis.
  • Nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 10,000 jobs for the month and employment in that category is up by 86,100 jobs (4 percent) from the same time one year ago.
  • Residential specialty trade contractors added 17,200 net new jobs in February and 122,500 total jobs (7.5 percent) since February 2014.
  • The heavy and civil engineering construction segment shed 3,700 jobs in February, but employment is by 35,700 positions (4 percent) on a year-over-year basis

To view the previous employment report, click here

Hilti, Inc. recognized as one of the Best Workplaces on the 2015 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® List

Hilti Logo (CMYK for print)Hilti, Inc. supplier of quality, innovative and specialized tools and fastening systems for the professional user, has been recognized as one of this year’s Best Workplaces and ranked No. 89 on the 2015 Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for.”

The selection process, created by Great Place to Work®, includes an employee survey and an in-depth questionnaire about the company programs and practices.  Great Place to Work® then evaluates each application using its unique methodology based on five dimensions:  credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie.

“Being listed as a great place to work is an honor”, said Cary Evert, Hilti North America President and CEO. “Our culture is at the core of everything we do and I believe this is what makes Hilti a great place to work”.

Hilti was also recognized with a “Great Rated!” designation. This Rating and Review highlights what makes the workplace culture great in areas like professional development and training, company atmosphere, benefits and rewards.

To Hilti these recognitions are evidence of a strong culture and a reflection of the passion that employees bring to work every day.  The commitment to shared values unites Hilti team members and fosters an environment in which innovation and teamwork thrive.

ABOUT HILTI:  Hilti is a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of quality, innovative and specialized tools and fastening systems for the professional user. With more than 1,400 highly trained Hilti account managers and engineers throughout North America and an additional 1,100 Hilti employees nationwide, Hilti expertise covers the areas of powder-actuated fastening, drilling and demolition, diamond coring and cutting, measuring, firestopping, screw fastening, adhesive and mechanical anchoring, and installation systems

ABOUT GREAT PLACE TO WORK: Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services and employer branding programs, including Best Companies lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. Great Place to Work®’s Trust Index©, a 58-question employee survey that measures trust, is used around the world to help companies increase the levels of trust across their organizations and improve business results. Annually, Great Place to Work® produces the research for the annual Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list and the Great Place to Work® Best Small and Medium Workplaces list. Follow Great Place to Work® online at www.greatplacetowork.com and on Twitter at @GPTW_US.

MMFX Steel Corporation of America Announces Supplier Contract with Independent Steel Alliance

UnknownMMFX® Steel Corporation (www.mmfx.com) has announced the signing of a supplier partner agreement with the Independent Steel Alliance (ISA) wherein members of the alliance can utilize collective purchasing power to acquire high-strength steel products.

Under the terms of the contract, ISA members can purchase all ChrōmX® products, including rebar and coils, from MMFX Steel.

“We’re pleased to partner with ISA and its members so the buying cooperative can benefit from having access to our high-strength ChrōmX line of products,” said Kevin McKown, MMFX Steel Corporation of America vice president of sales and marketing. “We know that fabricator members of ISA are looking for quality rebar products, and the high-strength, noncorrosive advantages of ChrōmX is a good choice for them.”

“Presently, ISA members purchase the majority of their primary material, both stock length rebar and coils, from domestic producers in the U.S. and Canada,” said Chris Casey, executive director of ISA. “ISA seeks to create mutually beneficial partnerships between its members and some but not all available suppliers in the marketplace. We’re pleased to welcome MMFX steel as a preferred partner in providing its line of high-strength products to our members and making them available for purchase through the cooperative.”