Tag Archive for 'construction industry'

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ABC Reports: Construction Employment Growth Slow but Steady

ABCThe U.S. construction industry added 19,000 net new jobs in February according to an analysis of today’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment release by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Year-over-year, the industry has added 253,000 net new jobs, an increase of 4 percent. The nonresidential sector added only 2,800 net new jobs in February after adding 3,600 jobs in January (revised upward from 2,900). Nonresidential specialty trade contractors lost jobs for the second consecutive month, while residential specialty trade contractors added 13,800 net new jobs in February—more than the other four subsectors combined. The civil and heavy engineering category continued its tepid growth, adding just 700 net new jobs for the month.

“Though many contractors continue to report significant backlog, the broader macroeconomic data regarding construction do not reflect brisk industry recovery,” said Anirban Basu, ABC’s chief economist. “Rather, the data are consistent with steady, ongoing recovery in both spending and employment. Though today’s employment report will be viewed positively by most stakeholders in the economy, it was not a great report for nonresidential construction. The nonresidential specialty trade contractor subsector lost 1,500 jobs in February and has now lost jobs in two consecutive months. This performance stands in contrast to the initial two months of 2015, when nonresidential specialty trade contractors collectively added 31,000 positions.

“Despite this recent softness in the nonresidential employment data, recent nonresidential construction spending data were quite strong,” said Basu. “There is no indication in today’s release that the ongoing nonresidential construction recovery is in any way jeopardized. Undoubtedly, seasonal factors are at work, and it is likely that the industry will see progress in the value of construction put in place, employment, profitability and wage growth.”

The construction industry unemployment rate climbed to 8.7 percent in February, a 0.2 percent increase from January. The industry’s unemployment rate has now increased by 3.2 percent since September 2015. The unemployment rate across all industries remained unchanged at 4.9 percent. Nonresidential building construction employment expanded by 4,300 jobs in February and is up by 14,100 jobs or 1.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.

  • Residential building construction employment expanded by 2,100 jobs in February and is up by 32,200 jobs or 4.7 percent on a year ago basis.
  • Nonresidential specialty trade contractors lost 1,500 jobs for the month but employment in that category is up by 76,300 jobs or 3.3 percent from the same time one year ago.
  • Residential specialty trade contractors added 13,800 net new jobs in February and have added 122,900 jobs or 7.0 percent since February 2015.
  • The heavy and civil engineering construction segment gained 700 jobs in February and is up by 7,900 positions or 0.8 percent on a year over year basis.

 

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Caterpillar to End Production of On-Highway Vocational Trucks

Caterpillar Inc.  recently  announced it will discontinue production of its on-highway vocational trucks. Based on the current business climate in the truck industry and a thorough evaluation of the business, the company decided it would withdraw from this market. This is also in line with the company’s ongoing restructuring to align its businesses with existing conditions. As a result of this action, the company will cease taking new orders for vocational trucks, although Caterpillar remains committed to existing truck customers and will support the existing trucks currently on the road.

Unknown-1Caterpillar launched its first vocational truck in the North American market in 2011, working with Navistar on the products’ design and build. Last year, the company announced its intention to begin independently designing and manufacturing its vocational truck products at the Caterpillar plant in Victoria, Texas.

“Remaining a viable competitor in this market would require significant additional investment to develop and launch a complete portfolio of trucks, and upon an updated review, we determined there was not a sufficient market opportunity to justify the investment,” said Ramin Younessi, vice president with responsibility for Caterpillar’s Industrial Power UnknownSystems Division. “We have not yet started truck production in Victoria, and this decision allows us to exit this business before the transition occurs.”

This announcement will impact approximately 70 positions. The reductions will begin in March and will take place over a period of time.