Construction News

Construction Cybercrime Is On the Rise

Article written by Tom Sawyer and Jeff Rubenstone and appears on enr.com

Cybercriminals find the construction world a rich phishing ground with fat prey and soft targets

At the end of April, just as St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church in Brunswick, Ohio, neared the close of a five-month-long, $5.5-million renovation, Father Bob Stec, the parish pastor, was surprised to hear that the contractor, Marous Brothers Construction, Willoughby, Ohio, had not received a $1.7- million payment.

“We were paying our bills. At some point somebody was able to get into our email system and in the course of that, changed the routing numbers for the wire transfers,” the pastor told local reporters. The $1.7 million disappeared.

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May 6-10 is Construction Safety Week, a national, industry-wide effort to promote safety best practices and raise awareness of the importance of an uncompromising commitment to safety in the construction industry.

WASHINGTON, May 6—Associated Builders and Contractors released its 2019 Safety Performance Report today, an annual assessment that furthers the construction industry’s understanding of how to achieve world-class safety through its STEP Safety Management System. Published in conjunction with Construction Safety Week, the report documents the dramatic impact of using proactive safety practices to reduce recordable incidents by up to 85%, making the best-performing companies 680% safer than the industry average.

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Construction Job Growth Strong With 33,000 Net New Jobs in April

According to data released last week by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 33,000 net new jobs in April.

Key Takeaways

  • On a year-over-year basis, industry employment is up 256,000 jobs, representing a 3.5% increase.
  • Nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 22,100 net new jobs compared to March and 114,300 net new jobs year over year.
  • The construction industry unemployment rate fell to 4.7%, down 2.2% from the same time last year, which represents the lowest April rate since the series began in the year 2000.
  • "Many economists are predicting a recession in 2020 or 2021. While that’s possible, the case for an economic downturn over the next 12 to 18 months is fading fast. The nation has added jobs in 103 consecutive months and the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 1969."

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Key Takeaways

  • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $775.2 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual basis for March, was a 4.8% increase over the same time last year.
  • Private nonresidential spending rose 0.5% for the month and is up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Public nonresidential spending fell 1.3% for the month but is still up 9% for the year.

Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

WASHINGTON, May 1— According to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today, national nonresidential construction spending declined 0.3% in March 2019. On a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, nonresidential spending totaled $775.2 billion for the month, which represents a 4.8% increase compared to the same time last year.

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The Construction Industry: Poised for Constructible Change

Article written by Chris Moor on ConstructionExec.com

The construction industry is ripe for improvement and brimming with potential. It’s also expected to be a 10 trillion-dollar industry by 2020. Today, construction constitutes 13% of the global gross domestic product, yet it’s well documented that productivity growth remains dramatically low. In reality, construction is emerging from old ways of thinking and challenges that span people, processes and technology. 

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Don’t Ignore Auto Insurance, Excess Liability and Cybersecurity Risks

Article written by Mary Grandy and Trish Drew on ConstructionExec.com

Now that businesses are settled into the new year, it’s a good time to consider some of the top insurance and risk management challenges that contractors and other construction organizations should expect in 2019.

Auto Premiums Continue Upward Trajectory

Chances are good that businesses already have felt the impact of rising auto insurance premiums. Insurance carriers have been facing an increase in both frequency and severity of auto losses during the past several years, making commercial auto one of the worst performing property casualty insurance lines. As a result, underwriters have continued to increase rates and premiums to offset tighter margins, as well as reevaluate and often restrict their underwriting appetites. 

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Construction Adds 16,000 Net New Jobs in March

According to data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 16,000 net new jobs in March.

Key Takeaways

  • On a year-over-year basis, industry employment is up 246,000 jobs, representing a 3.4% increase.
  • The construction industry unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, down a full percentage point from February.
  • "The expectation is that construction employment will continue to expand into the summer given normal seasonal factors and the level of backlog as measured by ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator."
  • "Today’s readings suggest that February employment data represented an aberration and that the economic and employment expansion remains in place."


Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc (ABC)

Construction Sees Minor Job Growth in March, Says ABC

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Nonresidential Spending Expands Again in February

Key Takeaways

  • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $773.8 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual basis for February, was a 4.8% increase over the same time last year.
  • Private nonresidential spending fell 0.5 percent for the month and is only up 0.1 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Public nonresidential spending is up 3.7 percent for the month and an impressive 12.1 percent for the year.

Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

WASHINGTON, April 1—According to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today, national nonresidential construction spending rose 1.2 percent in February. Seasonally adjusted nonresidential spending totaled $773.8 billion, a 4.8 percent increase over the same time last year.

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Construction Lost 31,000 Jobs in February

According to data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry lost 31,000 jobs in February, the biggest drop since December 2013. This follows adding 53,000 in January.

The losses were seen in all major sectors:

  • Residential Building - lost 1,600 jobs in February, but up 43,900 jobs over February 2018
  • Nonresidential Building - lost 3,000 jobs in February, but up 9,900 jobs over February 2018
  • Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction - lost 13,200 jobs in February, but up 40,600 jobs over February 2018
  • Specialty Trade Contractors - lost 13,500 jobs in February, but up 129,000 jobs over February 2018


Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc (ABC)

Jobs Decline in Construction Sector for the First Time in More Than Two Years, Says ABC

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Anirban Basu, chairman and CEO at the Sage Policy Group, Inc., joins the podcast and discusses the economic trends and leading indicators that contractors need to watch in order to be successful. Basu, who serves as the chief economist for the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) notes that while the short-term outlook for the construction industry remains solid, overall indicators point to a potential slowdown over the next couple of years. Effective cash flow management is critical to enduring a recession, and Basu points to new technologies that maximize efficiencies, boost productivity and replace traditional processes. Hear why he doesn’t see a traditional way out of the skilled labor shortage and why a technological revolution is necessary to fill the gaps and keep contractors productive.

Podcast originally appeared on the Viewpoint blog

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