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stover@abc.org's Articles

ABC Strategic Partner JLG Industries Celebrates 50 Years of Innovation

JLG Industries Inc., an ABC strategic partner and a leading global manufacturer of aerial work platforms and telehandlers, kicked off its year-long 50th anniversary celebration on Jan. 9, marking a half-century since its founder spearheaded the access industry with the introduction of the world’s first boom lift.

Resources for Contractors Affected by the Federal Government Shutdown

The federal government continues to operate under a partial shutdown affecting nine federal departments and a total of about 800,000 federal workers who have been furloughed or are working without pay. Several agencies and programs that serve the construction industry are not affected, including the Departments of Labor, Defense, Education, Energy and Veterans Affairs construction projects.

Contractors Lose Confidence in Q3 but Remain Upbeat

While construction industry leaders remained confident in the third quarter of 2018, optimism slipped relative to the second quarter, according to the latest Construction Confidence Index released by ABC. Approximately three in four construction firms expect that sales will continue to rise over the next six months and closer to one in 10 expect sales to decline over the next two quarters.

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.