Construction employment increased in 217 out of 358 metro areas between April 2016 and April 2017, declined in 89 and stagnated in 52, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that construction firms in many parts of the country continue to expand headcount amid strong private-sector demand for their services.
AGC members report struggles with Endangered Species Act (ESA) requirements that delay infrastructure projects and significantly increase costs while not necessarily providing commensurate species and habitat benefits. At the request of Congress, AGC has identified legislative and administrative improvements to the ESA that support: the protection of listed species; responsible land and resource management; and streamlined delivery of critical infrastructure projects.
The fiscal year 2018 budget (FY 2018) proposal shows new priorities for the Trump Administration, with the Federal Education and Training Programs taking the brunt of the proposed budget cuts. The Department of Labor’s budget (DOL) includes a 20% reduction in funding from the FY 2017 enacted level, and large job training reductions and employment service accounts represent some of the largest cuts. Funding for state grants for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) have received a 40% cut, and funding for apprenticeship grants have received a 5% reduction. WIOA overwhelmingly passed Congress in 2014, so it is unlikely that Congress will allow the proposed cuts.
Thirty-nine states added construction jobs between April 2016 and April 2017 amid growing demand for construction services, yet more than half the states lost construction jobs between March and April amid tight labor market conditions, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released today. Association officials said firms in many parts of the country are having a hard time finding qualified workers, which is likely holding back broader employment gains in some states.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will announce in tomorrow’s Federal Register that it will indefinitely suspend portions of a rule requiring states to develop performance measurements for tracking Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions for federal-aid highway projects. The suspension of the rule is a significant victory for AGC and our industry allies who fought the GHG rule that was issued in the waning days of the Obama Administration.
Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) request, AGC provided 30 pages of comprehensive and detailed recommendations for EPA’s regulatory evaluation in line with recent executive orders and presidential initiatives. In its submissions, AGC highlights the regulatory burden the construction industry bears and offers specific program modifications and solutions relating to water issues, oil spills prevention and preparedness, air and climate issues, lead-based paint issues, contaminated sites and liability, as well as compliance and enforcement initiatives. To view the complete set of AGC submissions to EPA, click here, here and here.
The AGC Labor and Employment Law Council (LELC) held its 33rd Annual Construction Labor Law Symposium May 12, 2017, in Washington, DC. Attorneys and chapter labor relations managers from across the country gathered to learn about labor and employment law developments and their significance for construction employers.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) requested and was granted another delay to file a brief on behalf of the Department of Labor (DOL) in its federal court appeal on the Nov. 2016 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulation. The DOJ now has until June 30, 2017, to file its response.
On April 28, 2017, Rene Alexander “Alex” Acosta was sworn in as the nation’s 27th U.S. Secretary of Labor. The Senate confirmed him the day before by a bipartisan final vote of 60-38. Eight Democrats and one independent joined the Republicans voting in favor of the appointment.
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the leading association for the construction industry. AGC represents more than 26,000 firms, including over 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 9,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 10,500 service providers and suppliers are also associated with AGC, all through a nationwide network of chapters.