Recent Articles

  • Nonresidential Construction Employment Up in December

    According to data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 20,000 net new jobs in December.

    Key Takeaways

    • The construction industry added 20,000 net new jobs in December 2019. On a year-over-year basis, industry employment has expanded by 151,000 jobs, an increase of 2.0%.
    • The construction unemployment rate was 5.0% in December, down 0.1 percentage points from the same time last year.
    • Nonresidential construction employment increased by 16,700 jobs on net in December and is up by 100,600 net jobs during the last 12 months.
    • “Recent data indicate that nonresidential construction spending is no longer expanding rapidly, and this may be due in part to the fact that the industry is approaching its output ceiling due to a shortage of available workers.”

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  • Under Attack: Hackers Find Construction Data Attractive Target

    Article written by Steven H. Miller and appears on Constructor Magazine.com.

    There is an old adage concerning timely action about the uselessness of locking the stable after the horse is gone. It is, unfortunately, the story of many construction companies confronting the issue of cybersecurity. They never considered themselves a target until it was too late.

    Many are surprised by how fast the future has arrived, but it is here now. From payroll and tool-tracking to 3D building models and as-built laser scans, a construction company’s network is the conduit for increasing portions of its activities and is hosting an increasing number of outsiders and their devices. That is an attractive target for thieves, especially since the number of vulnerabilities in the network is growing. If the ‘stable’ in the old adage is your computer network with 250 doors instead of one and strangers going in and out, locking it up is not a simple task. To avoid becoming a victim, cybersecurity must be considered a top issue.

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  • Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 4—Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu forecasts continued momentum for the construction sector next year but advised an overall “wait-and-see” approach based on leading and lagging indicators and economic uncertainties, according to a 2020 economic outlook published in Construction Executive magazine.

    Although ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator—a leading indicator that reflects projects under contract yet to be executed—climbed to nine months in August 2019, construction spending and employment—lagging indicators—have started to soften. Yet, while spending in private nonresidential categories such as office and logging has decreased, public spending categories remain a bright spot.

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  • Nonresidential Construction Spending Declines in November

    Key Takeaways

    • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $781.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual basis in November, declined .3% from October but increased 5.1% year over year.
    • Private nonresidential spending fell 1.2% on a monthly basis and is up by a slight 0.2% compared to the same time last year. Public nonresidential construction spending increased 0.9% in November and is up 12.4% year over year.
    • "After sending out recessionary signals during mid-2019, the economy has rebounded despite lingering uncertainty emanating from many sources, including the Middle East. Through it all, the U.S. economy has remained robust, positioning office and other lagging segments to improve during the months ahead.”

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

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  • Streamlining Construction Submittals

    Article written by Andy Holtmann and appears on the Viewpoint blog

    Submittals are one of the most vital parts of the processes and workflows around construction projects. The submittal process assures owners that their plans and specs are clearly understood by both contractors and subcontractors building the project. This process ensures both quality control and contractual compliance per the plans and specifications.

    A typical construction project, though, can feature hundreds, if not thousands of submittals and workflows around them. Delays in processing or last-minute submittals can lead to problems — including requests for information (RFIs) and change orders — which can cause significant project delays, impacting both productivity and deliverability.

    Contractors have long sought for ways to improve their submittal processes to streamline their projects’ productivity and mitigate risk of errors due to late or incomplete information.

    Stuck in the Manual Process Mud

    Making matters worse, many contractors are still relying on manual approaches to submittals.

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  • Using Viewpoint Field Management to Integrate and Share Real-Time Information

    Everyone knows the jobsite is where the magic happens. It’s where all of those construction project concepts and drawings get realized in physical form and where different teams with different specialties come together to work collaboratively toward a common goal.

    In today’s modern operating environment, contractors need new ways to realize efficiencies, mitigate risks and streamline work to compete. Relying on manual processes or outdated, stand-alone technology to collect and share project data leaves projects more vulnerable to costly mistakes and rework, conflicts or work stoppages that can delay projects, upset clients and shrink profits.

    More and more contractors are turning to powerful, cloud-based construction management solutions like Viewpoint Vista, which provides a complete platform of integrated functionality. Delivered in the cloud, that functionality extends to real time data, collaboration and automated workflows from the back office to the field (and vice versa).

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  • Nonresidential Construction Spending Falls in October

    Key Takeaways

    • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $776.5 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual basis October, fell 0.7% from September but is up 1.4% compared to the same time last year.
    • Private nonresidential spending fell 1.2% on a monthly basis and is down 4.3% compared to the same time last year. Public nonresidential construction spending also declined, falling 0.1% from September. On an annual basis, however, public nonresidential spending is up 10.4%.
    • "Commercial construction is down more than 16% over the past year, which coincides with the fact that 2019 will set a record for store closings in the U.S. as e-commerce continues to gobble up market share. Lodging and office-related construction has also slowed of late, likely because developers have already exhausted many of the best investment opportunities.”

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

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  • Nonresidential Construction Employment Rises in November

    According to data released Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 1,000 net new jobs in November.

    Key Takeaways

    • The construction industry added 1,000 net new jobs in November and, on a year-over-year basis, has expanded by 146,000 jobs, an increase of 2%.
    • The construction unemployment rate rose to 4.4% in October, up from 4.0% in September and up .5 percentage points from October 2018.
    • Nonresidential construction employment increased by 1,600 jobs on net in November and is up by 98,600 net jobs over the last 12 months.
    • “Any near-term recessionary fears during the summer have been neatly extinguished. While labor market data tend to be lagging indicators, it is clear that the U.S. economy retains plentiful momentum as it heads toward 2020. Today’s release also suggests that construction firms will continue to wrestle with profound skilled labor shortages as other industries offer plentiful employment opportunities and more construction workers retire.”

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  • Optimize a Workforce with Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer Employees

    Article written by By John Fish and appears on ConstructionExec.com.

    Solving for X. Most probably recall that simple algebra equation from back in their early school days. But solving for X isn’t about math anymore. It’s about placemaking for Generation X and Millennials—two very different generations that hold the key for businesses to achieve true greatness.

    Suffolk Construction expends a lot of time and resources handpicking the “best and brightest” young people to work for the organization—and for good reason. Its leadership has found Millennial employees, born between 1981 and 2000, to be optimistic, confident, social and diverse. They are also adept at change and technologically savvy, an ideal combination for any organization on a quest to innovate, create and challenge the status quo.

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  • Year-End Tax Planning Strategies for Contractors

    Article written by By Jacquelyn Himes and appears on ConstructionExec.com.

    There are many tax planning strategies a construction contractor can implement to reduce the company’s tax liability. Now is a good time to review the company’s financial goals, operations and results over the past year. Discuss what was done and how to qualify for tax deductions or credits with a construction accounting specialist.

    Accelerating certain expenses and postponing others may help to decrease, or even eliminate, a contractor’s tax liability. It is important to consider the timing of all expenditures at this time of year, including bonus payments, as well as the reporting of income. It might be beneficial to postpone certain expenses and delay receiving income until the new year.

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 significantly changed the tax law. Contractors need to be aware of these changes and plan accordingly. Here are several tax planning opportunities that contractors may qualify for under TCJA.

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