Contact: John Morris, Ohio Valley ABC, (937) 414-2408, email@example.com
SPRINGBORO, March 9—February was the best month for construction employment gains since March 2007, according to Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) analysis of today’s employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The sector added 61,000 net new jobs on a monthly basis in February, an increase of 0.9 percent, and 254,000 net new jobs on a yearly basis, an increase of 3.7 percent.
Nonresidential construction added 35,400 net new jobs in February after adding 21,000 net new jobs in January. Although gains were widespread among all five major construction subsectors, nonresidential specialty trade contractors outperformed them all with 19,000 net new jobs.
The construction industry unemployment rate, which is available only on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, increased by half a percentage point in February and stands at 7.8 percent. Despite the month-over-month increase, which is likely attributable to seasonal factors, the industry’s unemployment rate is a full percentage point lower than at the same time one year ago. The national unemployment rate for all industries remained unchanged at 4.1 percent.
“Today’s employment report could scarcely have been better,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “In addition to a massive top-line number, construction employment surged by 61,000 net new jobs. In other words, construction was responsible for approximately one-fifth of net new job creation in February. On top of that, nonresidential construction accounted for the majority of net new construction jobs. Nonresidential construction job creation was broad based—supported by nonresidential builders, heavy and civil engineering, and specialty trade contractors alike.
“This is hardly where the good news ends,” said Basu. “Labor force participation rose and the national unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent for a fifth consecutive month. Worker compensation also expanded, but not in a way that suggests problematic inflation. While the construction industry unemployment rate increased to 7.8 percent, this is the lowest observed rate in February since BLS began tracking the industry’s unemployment rate in 2000.”
“ABC has been indicating that 2018 would represent the best year for the U.S. economy since at least 2005,” said Basu. “The February jobs report strongly implies that prediction likely will prove to be correct. Today’s numbers should fuel additional consumer and business optimism, which should set the stage for strong construction spending and lofty backlog during the months ahead. That said, broader issues regarding inflation remain, including inflation potentially generated through the imposition of trade restrictions by major world economies.”
About (Ohio Valley Associated Builders & Contractors)
The Ohio Valley Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors (founded in 1974) is an organized group of contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and associates with one, singular objective in mind: to defend and promote the open shop construction industry.
Do not bother to read the State of Ohio's 309 page revised plan on how it plans to spend federal Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act dollars. It is a joke. You don't have to read it; but PLEASE DO take the time to tell them to change it.
On page 7 of their "plan", there is a graph showing the top 10 expected career growth industries through 2024. Health Care is number 1 with 18% growth expected. Construction is number 2 with 12.2% projected growth. Yet, the next 302 pages outline nothing about helping the construction industry find new workers. You see, the state of Ohio conjured up 3 other (completely subjective) measures to end up saying that Construction Careers, jobs in the skilled trades, are not "in demand". I said the plan was a joke; but no one is laughing.
Read more below...there is something you can do to help!
For the state of Ohio to not have construction careers deemed "in demand" is a fiscal and social travesty. The data clearly shows that construction careers are projected to be the 2nd highest growing sector over the next 10 years; yet the state shall be investing its WIOA funds to promote careers in sectors projected to have negative growth! They justify this practice with subjective measures such as employer surveys and Jobs Ohio "key economic drivers". I would love to see how any expansion of our economy is possible without construction.
It is your time to act...
This is the open "public comment" period. If you believe, as I do, as the data shows, that Construction is "in demand" and deserves job training dollars allocated to help people find careers in the skilled trades, tell the State of Ohio
Go to http://workforce.ohio.gov/Initiatives/Combined-State-Plan, scroll down and fill out the form. Tell your friends and co-workers to do the same.
SPRINGBORO, Jan. 3—The not seasonally adjusted (NSA) national construction unemployment rate was 5 percent in November, down 0.7 percent from a year ago and the lowest November rate on record, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The construction industry employed 191,000 more workers than in November 2016.
“Construction employment continues to show strength throughout much of the country, reflecting a healthy construction industry,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “Above-average temperatures and below-normal precipitation in much of country in November likely helped overall construction activity. Continued recovery and rebuilding efforts following 2017’s hurricanes, floods and wildfires has added to demand for workers, offsetting some of the normal seasonal downturn in construction employment.”
To better understand the basis for calculating unemployment rates and what they measure, see the article Background on State Construction Unemployment Rates in the State-by-State Construction Economics section at abc.org/economics.
For a more indepth discussion on this topic, contact John Morris, President of Ohio Valley Associated Builders & Contractors and the Ohio Valley Construction Education Foundation (937) 414-2408, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more than 100 years, Labor Day has been observed as a tribute to the achievements of American workers and their contributions to our national strength and prosperity. This year, the holiday has even more special meaning, as there has never been greater opportunity for careers in construction.
Consider that today the construction industry needs to hire a staggering 500,000 workers just to fill a backlog of existing jobs. Construction unemployment experienced its lowest June national rate EVER on record. According to an analysis released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the construction industry employed 204,000 more workers this year than last.
Clearly, the construction industry is healthy and the demand for new workers is high. What most people don’t understand is the “multiplier effect” from a lack of skilled construction trades people. When construction jobs go unfilled, projects are delayed. Each one of these projects, whether it be a new restaurant or manufacturing expansion typically leads to more jobs. A delay in construction equals a delay in employment for someone else, thus the multiplied economic impact.
The State of Ohio under the Kasich administration has routinely put MILLIONS of dollars toward training workers for “in demand” industries. Remarkably, despite all of the data proving otherwise, construction has never been deemed, by Ohio, as “in demand”. This lack of investment in construction training has a direct impact on the weak economic growth of our state. Project delays = slower hiring = slower collection of taxes.
We’ve heard all the political rhetoric about expanding apprenticeship programs at the state and national level. This year, Ohio received approximately $3M in funds to expand apprenticeship and dedicated it all to MANUFACTURING. Again, the construction industry was slighted. As already stated, manufacturing cannot expand and hire new workers without construction building their facility first.
The path to greater economic prosperity for Ohio is clear. Our state should offer (at least some!) workforce training money for construction employers. Further, student aid could be expanded beyond the traditional four-year college model to give access to training programs that lead to quality construction careers. Opportunity lies before us to expand access to satisfying, well-paying careers in construction for women, minorities, veterans, students, non-graduates and people seeking new careers, re-entry to the workforce or a second chance. On this Labor Day, I pray our state will wake up and give proper credit and attention to the recruiting and training needs of the construction industry.
Visit ovcef.org for more information on training opportunities and careers in construction.
"Connecting the classroom to industry is exactly what is needed to improve our failing education system. " - John Morris, President, Ohio Valley Construction Education Foundation
Teachers and their union officials all across the state of Ohio have officially declared that they oppose the idea of asking teachers to spend some time with local businesses as a part of their licensure requirements as recently proposed by Governor Kasich. They find the idea completely preposterous and argue that only those who “spend time in a classroom” should come up with new ideas on how to improve our failing education system. In some recent “op-ed” pieces, they have gone so far as to ask that parents and fellow educators “make their voices heard”. Well, let me be the first to publicly ask parents and business leaders to let their voices be heard – this idea makes perfect sense for all the same reasons the teachers are arguing against it. Let me thank them for making the point.
First, let me start by pointing out that I HAVE spent time in the classroom. I was a teacher and principal in Cincinnati Public Schools. 95% of my students were on free or reduced lunch; 35% were special needs. We did not let our challenges stop us from student success; we embraced the business community and invited them into our classrooms. Later, I was an Economics Professor at the University of Cincinnati. I have also owned my own businesses. Connecting the classroom to industry is exactly what is needed to improve our failing education system. Many teachers have an unfortunate and complete misunderstanding of the purpose of public education. This is not their fault – it is the way they are being taught at whatever college of education they attended. You see Teacher’s Colleges train teachers “how to teach” very well. What they fail to do well (or at all) is to teach subject matter content and more importantly CONTEXT.
Connecting teachers to a local business so that they can stay connected to the world of work is critical to the true mission of schools. Public Schools exist to prepare students for success in life, to be productive members of society, to use their god given talents to improve economic conditions, to work toward the pursuit of happiness, to be more attractive to employers. Unfortunately, most teachers simply want the world outside of schools to stay away. In one opposing article, a public school teacher wished that employees could be sent into schools to teach about their businesses with hands on programs.
The Ohio Valley Construction Education Foundation worked with a group of teachers to create a series of standards based lessons, "Building MAS Skills," that teach students the practical applications of math and science that are used every day in the world of construction. We then recruited over 100 industry professionals to be trained by teachers on best practices for delivering the lesson. With a full plan in place, we then sent emails and made phone calls to teachers asking for them to allow volunteers to visit their classroom. We asked for no money; we didn’t need to increase the state budget to get this done. Every teacher that opened their doors LOVED the lesson. Every single student participated in the lesson and learned (100% engagement). This was in public and private schools; high performing classrooms and ones filled with special needs students. While the successes were many, we were dismayed that over 90% of our requests to teachers were ignored. Many teachers, even after hearing of our lesson’s success said, “No thank you, I already have my lessons planned for this YEAR”. This is the reality of most classrooms – teachers claim to want help; but they really want to be left alone. A local business wants to be engaged; but is turned away. Schools call businesses for sponsorships and donations; but rarely ask for help teaching the context of lessons.
To think that every business and every industry is equipped to do what the construction industry has done with its model lesson plans is not practical. What does more sense is to better train teachers about how what they teach is used in the world of work, the world outside of school, the world where their students will spend their lives, the world where they will be employed. This can be accomplished through Governor Kasich’s idea of asking teachers to spend a week a year with a local business. This idea is not about getting teachers to better understand business; it is about creating better community relations, better partnerships and better teaching context. No teacher interested in improving results should oppose this idea. Parents and business leaders need to wake up and support this idea or our schools will continue to fail us.
Ohio Valley Construction Education Foundation - We bring a fun, engaging activity with community volunteers into the classroom to introduce the importance of math and science in the world of construction. CLICK HERE for more information about the Building MAS Skills program
Author - John Morris, President