Grading & Excavation Contractor

Something Good and Something Better

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This week I am in Las Vegas for Trimble Dimensions. That means that I’m going to fill this space with some good news and then a better piece of video for you to enjoy.

First, I’ll give you the good news. According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), in the month of October, construction employment has risen by about 30,000 jobs. And construction employment for the year has gone up by 330,000 jobs. That brings the industry’s unemployment rate down to 3.6%. There’s also a bit of good news regarding wages; hourly pay has jumped by almost 4%.

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In a press release from the AGC, the association’s chief economist, Ken Simonson says, “Job gains remain strong and well balanced between residential and nonresidential construction. Contractors are raising pay faster than at any time since the recession to attract workers from other industries as well as new entrants, yet many firms report they continue to have difficulty filling positions.”

The announcement says:

“Construction employment totaled 7,318,000 in October, a gain of 4.7 percent over the past 12 months. Employment in residential construction—comprising residential building and specialty trade contractors—grew by 16,600 jobs for the month and 143,500 jobs over the past 12 months, a 5.3 percent increase. Employment in nonresidential construction—including building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction—grew by 13,500 jobs in October and 187,200 jobs during the past year, a 4.4 percent increase, Simonson noted.

Hourly earnings in the industry averaged $30.21 in October, an increase of 3.9 percent from a year earlier—the steepest one-year rise since June 2009. Average hourly earnings in construction are now 10.7 percent higher than the average for all nonfarm private-sector jobs, which rose 3.1 percent in the past year, to $27.30. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for jobseekers with construction experience in October was 3.6 percent, down from 4.5 percent in October 2017. The number of such workers fell to 352,000 from 418,000 a year earlier. Both figures were the lowest for October since the series began in 2000, the economist pointed out.”

And to celebrate these new numbers here’s great video showing off operator skills with modern iron.


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