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stover@abc.org's Articles

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Sinks Below Record Highs in Q3 2018

ABC reports that its Construction Backlog Indicator contracted to 9.04 months during the third quarter of 2018, down 8.4 percent from the second quarter and 4.3 percent lower than the same time last year. “Construction backlog reached its highest level ever during the second quarter,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Price of Construction Materials Declines in November; ABC Predicts Moderate Increases in Early 2019

Construction materials prices fell 1.8 percent in November, according to ABC's analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Despite the monthly decline, materials prices are still 5.3 percent higher than they were on a year-over-year basis.

Nonresidential Construction Employment Slows Down in November

Construction employment expanded by 5,000 net new jobs in November, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data conducted by ABC. During the past 12 months, the industry has added 282,000 net new construction jobs, which translates into a 4 percent increase in total industry-wide employment.

ABC Welcomes EPA’s Newly Proposed WOTUS Rulemaking

On Dec. 11, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps and Engineers jointly issued a proposal to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” to clarify federal authority under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule seeks to provide businesses and landowners with clear definitions of what are and what are not ‘navigable waters.’ ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman attended the signing ceremony for the rulemaking at the U.S. EPA.

ABC Predicts Construction Sector Will Remain Strong in 2019

ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu forecasts another strong year for construction sector performance, yet warns about inflationary pressures, according to a 2019 economic outlook published in Construction Executive magazine.

Nonresidential Spending Rises Modestly in October

National nonresidential spending increased 0.1 percent in October, according to an ABC analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Total nonresidential spending for the month stood at $763.8 billion on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, which represents a 7.3 percent increase over the same time last year.

OSHA Issues Final Rule on Crane Operator Qualification

On Nov. 9, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration published a final rule that updates its standard for cranes and derricks in construction to ensure crane operators are qualified to safely operate equipment. The final rule requires employers to train operators as needed to perform assigned crane activities, evaluate them and document successful completion of the evaluations. 

ABC Sends Letter to Senate Supporting Prison Reform Legislation

ABC sent a letter to the U.S. Senate in support of the FIRST STEP Act, which was introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). This bipartisan bill addresses the important issue of prison reform with the goal of lowering recidivism rates by helping incarcerated individuals prepare to reenter their communities.

ABC Releases 2018 Merit Shop Scorecard

ABC released its 2018 Merit Shop Scorecard, an annual state ranking based on policies and programs that encourage open competition, education and job growth, and award construction contracts based solely on merit, regardless of labor affiliation. Florida topped the list this year, vaulting from ninth position in 2017 to first based on the state’s free-enterprise and open-competition approach to the construction sector, increased career and technical education opportunities and job growth rates.

October Construction Unemployment Rates Down in 45 States Year Over Year

Estimated October construction unemployment rates fell nationally and in 45 states on a year-over-year basis, according to ABC’s analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. While the October 2018 not seasonally adjusted national construction unemployment rate fell 0.9 percent from a year ago to 3.6 percent, the construction industry employed 318,000 more workers nationally compared to October 2017, according to BLS statistics.

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