Politics and Policy
On Nov. 29, President Trump delivered a strong defense of reducing the tax burden on businesses of all sizes in his “Bring Back Main Street” Speech in St. Charles, Mo. He urged Congress to push tax reform across the finish line as the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act this week.
On Nov. 28, The Senate Budget Committee voted to advance S.1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on a party line vote of 11-10. Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) voted to send the bill to the Senate floor after originally withholding their support.
The not seasonally adjusted national construction unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in October, down 1.2 percent from a year ago, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. It was the lowest October rate on record, matching the rate in 2006, according to analysis by ABC. Further, the construction industry employed 180,000 more workers than in October 2016.
The private construction industry’s value added as a percentage of the nation’s real gross domestic product rose to 4 percent in 2016, the highest level since 2009, according to ABC. The report also shows annual growth in real construction spending, which rose 3.5 percent in 2016. Thirty-seven states benefited from the rise in construction activity in their state, while 13 states experienced a reduction in activity.
On Nov. 22, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced it has extended the compliance date for the electronic reporting provisions of its Electronic Injury Reporting and Anti-Retaliation final rule (also known as Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses) to Dec. 15. This is a two-week extension from the Dec. 1 compliance date in the proposed rule. The final rule regarding the delay of the compliance date will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 24.
On Nov. 28, ABC will offer the webinar “DOL Training on Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors” at 2 p.m. EDT. The webinar will cover the Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors final rule issued by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on Sept. 30, 2016, which implements President Obama’s E.O. 13706.
ABC congratulates Justin Baker, executive vice president of Gaylor Electric in Mooresville, N.C., for being named ABC's Young Professional of the Year. Baker accepted the award Nov. 8 during ABC's Leadership Week Conference in Orlando, Fla.
Construction input prices remained unchanged on a monthly basis in October, according to analysis of today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics release by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Overall construction input prices have expanded 4.3 percent year over year, while nonresidential input prices have expanded 4.1 percent since October 2016. Crude petroleum prices rose 6.6 percent for the month and are up 7.7 percent for the year. No other input manifested significant price growth in October.
On Nov. 13, the U.S. Senate began the first day of an expected four-day process to amend and approve their version of tax reform legislation. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on their version of the bill on Thursday, Nov. 15. If both chambers pass their respective bills, conferees will be designated to negotiate an agreement between the House and Senate versions, which currently include a number of significant differences.
On Nov. 13, ABC President and CEO Mike Bellaman participated in the first meeting of the U.S. Department of Labor’s task force on apprenticeship expansion. Timed to coincide with the first day of National Apprenticeship Week, the task force is responsible for identifying strategies and proposals to expand and promote apprenticeship opportunities.