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On April 23, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) approved a new rule prohibiting employment related non-compete clauses. FTC Commissioners voted 3-2 along party lines to approve the new rule. The rule will be effective 120 days after publication in the Federal Register, and employees and employers should expect the rule to become effective on approximately September 1, 2024.

On May 21, ABC joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of business groups in filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Waco Division against the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Worker Walkaround Representative Designation Process final rule. Read the news release announcing the lawsuit.

In a strong and clear decision, the Hampden Superior Court has issued an injunction preventing the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission (SWSC) from imposing a union-only project labor agreement on the construction of the West Parish Water Treatment Plant. In a decision issued on 5/16/24, Justice Michael K. Callan Wrote: "The public benefits from an open, fair, competitive and robust bidding process. The PLA requirement unnecessarily curtails that without legal justification." The legal challenge was brought by several merit shop plaintiffs, including Wayne J. Griffiin Electric, Inc. and ABC MA who were represented by atty. Chris Whitney of Pierce Atwood LLP.

The March 2024 not seasonally adjusted national construction unemployment rate was 5.4%, down 0.2% from the previous year, according to a state-by-state analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by Associated Builders and Contractors. The analysis also found that 29 states had lower unemployment rates over the same period, two states were unchanged (New Jersey and Oklahoma) and 19 states were higher.

The construction industry added 9,000 jobs on net in April, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. On a year-over-year basis, industry employment has increased by 258,000 jobs, an increase of 3.2%.

All of us know that the biggest asset any contractor can have is a high-quality, well-trained workforce. To make that a reality for more ABC Massachusetts members, the Gould Construction Institute (GCI) has broken ground on a new bricks and mortar facility that will enhance its curriculum with hands-on learning.

Associated Builders and Contractors has announced the findings from its 2024 Safety Performance Report, an annual guide to construction jobsite health and safety best practices. The report is unveiled to coincide with Construction Safety Week, May 6-10.

Construction input prices increased 0.4% in March compared to the previous month, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index data. Nonresidential construction input prices also increased 0.4% for the month.

Associated Builders and Contractors’ Construction Backlog Indicator increased to 8.2 months in March from 8.1 months in February, according to an ABC member survey conducted March 20 to April 3. The reading is down 0.5 months from March 2023.

The construction industry added 39,000 jobs on net in March, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. On a year-over-year basis, industry employment has expanded by 270,000 jobs, an increase of 3.4%.