Cooler Heads Always Prevail

If you’ve looked at the construction numbers the last few months, chances are you’ve found yourself mostly checking to see if things have gotten better or worse in the industry. But what if things didn’t really change at all?

For instance, on June 3, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America reported that construction employment was virtually unchanged in May as the industry added 2,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate dropped to 16.3 percent. According to the AGC, declines in public sector construction demand offset the increases in private sector demand, which led to sluggish employment levels that weren’t likely to change soon. The AGC also says construction employment isn’t likely to change much one way or the other for the rest of the year, while recent construction spending figures indicate that federal, state and local governments are cutting their investments in infrastructure and other construction projects 

“As long as Washington starves infrastructure instead of fixing entitlement spending, construction employment is likely to remain weak,” AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr said. “We are never going to balance the budget by deferring maintenance and keeping employment levels low.”

It’s unfortunate news, especially as summer gets here with its often-sweltering temperatures. But the best course of action might be to stay calm and keep cool, even though the most blistering thing right now isn’t the summer heat.

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