New home construction in the United States showed a positive return in May—good news after several months of decreasing numbers due in part to the coronavirus pandemic.
In particular, a rebound in permits for future home construction (up 14.4%) showed promise that the industry might be coming out of a slump. The statistic is often an indicator of future activity and the overall health of the economy.
New York City—The Marcum Commercial Construction Index for the first quarter of 2020 reports an industry suffering the adverse effects of COVID-19. Construction employment fell by nearly one million jobs from March to April 2020, a decrease of 12.8%. The industry’s unemployment rate increased from 6.9% in March to 16.6% in April, the highest level since early 2012.
New York City launched phase one of its reopening plan this week, including the restart of all construction projects deemed nonessential. City officials estimate this applies to approximately 23,000 construction sites.
The news is long awaited for many construction executives and management teams—since March, the only construction projects allowed to continue on schedule were those deemed essential (health care, infrastructure updates, etc.).
Last week, President Trump signed into law a new bill that effectively relaxes Paycheck Protection Program loan requirements for many small businesses—the Paycheck Protection Forgiveness Act.
The law allows businesses a bit more leeway concerning where the money coming from the loans, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, are spent, as well as a few other key points. Here's what you need to know:
WASHINGTON—The construction industry added 464,000 net new jobs in May, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. May represented the largest monthly increase in construction jobs since the government began tracking employment in 1939, a drastic improvement from April, which recorded the industry’s largest month-over-month job loss.
Construction spending dropped 2.9% in April, according to data released this week by the United States Commerce Department. The department cited the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and project shutdowns across the country as the drivers behind the decrease.
WASHINGTON—As the nation faces the coronavirus pandemic, the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is dedicated to keeping the American workforce safe and healthy. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt testified before the House Education and Labor Committee’s Workforce Protections Subcommittee about the agency’s role during the crisis.
WASHINGTON—The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an alert listing steps employers can follow to implement social distancing in the workplace and to help protect workers from exposure to the coronavirus.
Safety measures employers can implement include:
Birmingham, Ala. (May 28, 2020)—Construction Business Owner, the leading business magazine for contractors, is pleased to announce a free webinar presented in partnership with Viewpoint.
The live, online event, “Using Data Analytics to Scale Your Business for the Future” will take place June 25, 2020, at 2 p.m. EDT, and will help business owners improve operations by better understanding and utilizing the company’s data.
(May 20, 2020)—Every year, Engineering News-Record (ENR) rounds up the best-performing contractors of the year in its list of the Top 400 Contractors. Published annually in May, the list ranks the 400 general contractors, both publicly and privately held, based on construction contracting-specific revenue.
This year, despite unpredictability and sharp turns in the market, some larger contractors are still hanging tough. Here’s a quick recap of the top 10:
Birmingham, Ala. (May 26, 2020)—Construction Business Owner, the leading business magazine for contractors, is pleased to announce a free webinar presented in partnership with AvidXchange.
The live, online event, “The Problem with Paper: 5 Ways Accounts Payable Automation Can Help” will take place June 18, 2020, at 4 p.m. EDT, and will explore how accounts payable (AP) technology can help construction businesses create new efficiencies and supercharge productivity.
WASHINGTON—This week, the United States Department of Commerce released data showing residential construction starts dropped 30.2% in April, marking the biggest one-month dip since the the government began tracking housing starts in 1959.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate was 891,000, the lowest since February 2015. Single-family construction starts decreased 25.4%, to a rate of 650,000. Single family building permits dropped 24.3% to a rate of 669,000 units.
The United States Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule last week updating hours of service for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, addressing the exception for adverse driving conditions, the short-haul exception, break periods, and the sleeper-berth exception.
This week, the United States Treasury and Small Business Administration issued additional guidance concerning the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
WASHINGTON (May 8, 2020)—The construction industry lost 975,000 jobs on net in April, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was the largest recorded decrease in construction jobs since the government began tracking employment in 1939, despite construction remaining an essential industry in much of the nation through April.
This week, one of these two metropolitan areas announced plans to reopen construction and one returned to work after weeks of being shut down. Some construction firms will go back to work with specific protocols in place. Here's what you need to know:
(May 5, 2020)—Contracting giant AECOM reported its Q2 fiscal year 2020 results this week, which included a record-high backlog of $42 billion. The Los Angeles, California-based firm also reported near-record new project awards, totaling $8.6 billion in value. Project backlog increased 14% year over year.
NATIONAL (April 28, 2020)—Construction employment declined in 99 out of 358 metro areas from March 2019 to last month as the coronavirus pandemic triggered the first shutdown orders and project cancellations, according to an analysis released by the Associated General Contractors of America.