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From category archives: The Blog (ABCMA)


Monthly Construction Input Prices Dip in August, But Are Up 17% From a Year Ago, Says ABC

(via ABC National)   WASHINGTON, Sept. 14—Construction input prices decreased 1.4% in August compared to the previous month, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index data released today. Nonresidential construction input prices fell 1.4% for the month as well. Construction input prices are up 16.7% from a year ago, while nonresidential construction input prices are 16.3% higher. Input prices were up in six of 11 subcategories* on a monthly basis. Natural gas prices increased 35.3% (and are 457.9% higher than they were in February 2020), followed by unprocessed energy materials prices, which rose 13.5%. Crude petroleum prices were down 5.3% in August. "Until yesterday's Consumer Price Index report, investors and other market-watchers had been delighted by recent inflation news," said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. "Today's Producer Price Index report supplies additional evidence tha ...

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Suicide Prevention Is a National Priority for Construction

  Every September, we in the construction industry take time to focus on a difficult but very important issue. September is Suicide Prevention Month. In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the construction industry had one of the highest rates of death by suicide among its workers – 5,242 in 2018, which was five times higher than U.S. construction worker fatalities on jobsites. This is a national tragedy, but we are not powerless to fight it.  Construction workers work with tools every day, and if we equip these 7.7 million individuals with the tools they need to prioritize mental health and protect their emotional wellbeing, they will use them. Our first challenge is to shatter the stigma surrounding mental health issues with the goal of creating a zero-suicide industry.  We employers can build a resilient workforce by providing access to resources to improve total human health: physical, mental, emotional, so ...

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Women In Construction Hits 1 Million, A Record 14% Of Industry Workforce

    National Construction & Dev August 19, 2022 Taylor Driscoll, Bisnow Boston    As the construction industry's labor shortage intensifies, the number of women stepping into the industry has reached an all-time high. The number of women working in U.S. construction hit 1 million this year for the first time, and women made up a record 14.1% of the sector's workforce in July, Bloomberg reports. The gains have come largely out of necessity. The total number of open construction jobs in the U.S. stood at 440,000 in April, the highest in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' available data, which goes back 21 years. “We cannot afford in this industry to turn down people purely based on gender,” Patrice Haley, a member of DPR Construction’s diversity leadership team, told Bloomberg. “A lot of that veteran talent is starting to retire ... We can’t leave any stone unturned.” A third o ...

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ABC: President Biden’s Inflationary PLA Schemes Hurt Taxpayers and Construction Job Creators

  via: ABC National  |  Tuesday, August 23, 2022 5:09 PM ABC condemned an Aug. 19 proposed rule, Federal Acquisition Regulation: Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects, which requires federal construction contracts of $35 million or more to be subjected to controversial project labor agreements, saying it will result in the award of construction contracts to powerful special interests at the expense of hard-working taxpayers and limit fair and open competition in government contracting. “The Biden administration continues to move forward with its steady drumbeat of burdensome, inflationary and anti-competitive policies that will needlessly raise costs on taxpayer-funded construction projects and steer contracts to unionized contractors and workers,” said Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs in a news release. “When mandated by governments, PLAs increase construction costs to taxpayers ...

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The Three Ds of Buy-Sell Agreements

  via:  Brian Lynch  |   Jun 21st, 2022   The old adage “Failing to plan is planning to fail” can easily be applied to owning a business. Business owners need to be prepared for the many contingencies that come up during the lifecycle of their business. Much like a person’s estate plan, proper planning should be taken to ensure as little disruption as possible to the company’s operations should a life changing event occur to one of the owners. Savvy entrepreneurs choose to enter into what is commonly referred to as a Buy-Sell Agreement, but similar terms can also be found in corporate Shareholder Agreements or a limited liability company’s Operating Agreement. These agreements can be used to address the many contingencies co-owners of a business may face. Three of the most significant contingencies to plan for are the three Ds: Death, Disability, and Divorce.   The equity a person holds in a company is personal property and as ...

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ABC Announces 2022-2023 Tech Alliance Members

    Last week, Associated Builders and Contractors today announced the members of its third annual Tech Alliance—a consortium of firms that create construction technology and innovative solutions for ABC contractor members, the majority of which primarily perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors. “These technology and innovation allies of ABC are leaders in the construction innovation space and align with our strategic plan of ensuring our members become safer, more profitable and equipped to win more work,” said Matt Abeles, ABC vice president of construction technology and innovation. “The world-class products, education and dialogue the Tech Alliance companies deliver to ABC members will help transform the design, build and delivery process.” Consisting of 14 companies, the Tech Alliance leverages technology resources to help ABC members develop people, win work and deliver work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the commu ...

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ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator and Contractor Confidence Index Waver in July

    Posted in Construction Economic Update, Construction Backlog Indicator, Construction Confidence Index, Construction Economics, News Release 2022 WASHINGTON, August 9—Associated Builders and Contractors reported today that its Construction Backlog Indicator fell 0.2 months in July and stands at 8.7 months, according to an ABC member survey conducted July 20 to Aug. 3. The reading is up 0.2 months from July 2021. While backlog is 0.3 months lower than the May 2022 peak, it remains higher than at any point between March 2020 and March 2022. Backlog rose sharply in the south, which continues to be the highest of any region. Notably, backlog decreased by 1.2 months for contractors with less than $30 million in annual revenue.   ABC’s Construction Confidence Index readings for sales, profit margins and staffing levels declined in July. The indices for sales and staffing remain above the threshold of 50, indicating expectations of growth ...

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Employers: The Time Is Ripe For Employment-Related Management Trainings

By: Michelle De Oliveira, Esq.             Employment law is constantly changing as courts issue groundbreaking decisions and new statutes are enacted at both the state and federal level. For this reason, the importance of regularly conducting employment-related risk management trainings for a company’s management team has become critically important. Examples include: The Massachusetts Wage Act & The Costly Consequences For Violations             The recent Massachusetts Wage Act decision in Reuter v. City of Methuen will have the following significant implication for employers moving forward: an employer that terminates an employee and does not pay the employee in full for all wages earned through the employee’s termination date on the actual termination date may be liable for three times the employee’s unpaid wages, plus attorney’s fees and costs. Better yet, ...

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ABC: Construction Unemployment Under 2% in 10 States

  The not seasonally adjusted national construction unemployment rate plunged 3.8% in June 2022 from June 2021, down from 7.5% to 3.7%. Meanwhile, all 50 states had lower unemployment rates over the same period, according to a state-by-state analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors. Ten states had an estimated construction unemployment rate under 2%; the highest unemployment rate was 6.5% in New Mexico.     In June, national NSA payroll construction employment was 301,000 higher than a year ago and was 46,000 higher than its pre-pandemic peak. Residential construction employment has fully recovered while nonresidential construction employment remains below its pre-pandemic peak. June SA residential payroll construction employment was 112,000 above its pre-pandemic peak while nonresidential payroll construction employment was 66,000 below its pre-pandemic peak.     The national NSA c ...

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Employees Have A Statutory Right To Rebut Information Placed In Their Personnel Records And Cannot Be Terminated Or Retaliated Against For Exercising Their Right

  By: Laura M. Raisty, Esq. & Julianne C. Fitzpatrick The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) ruled in Meehan v. Medical Information Technology, Inc., 488 Mass. 730 (2021) that an employee cannot be discharged for submitting a written rebuttal to information placed in their personnel file. The Personnel Records Statute (M.G.L. c. 149, § 52C) The Massachusetts personnel records statute, M.G.L. c. 149, § 52C, requires an employer to “notify an employee within 10 days of the employer placing in the employee’s personnel record any information to the extent that the information is, has been used or may be used, to negatively affect the employee's qualification for employment, promotion, transfer, additional compensation or the possibility that the employee will be subject to disciplinary action.”  The Statute goes on to provide that if an employee disagrees with any information in their personnel record, and the employee and employer fa ...

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