Construction Industry Presents Final Arguments Against OSHA’s Silica Rule

The Associated Builders & Contractors  and its allies in the construction industry once again cautioned OSHA that if the agency moves forward with its proposed rule to address silica exposure in the construction industry, contractors will be stuck with unnecessary regulations that are technologically and economically infeasible to implement.

In letters written to OSHA in response to testimony given during OSHA’s informal hearing in March, ABC and the ABC-led Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) reiterated industry concerns expressed throughout the rulemaking process about the negative impact OSHA’s rule would have on contractors. Both groups also again urged the agency to withdraw it. The Continue Reading

Housing Markets Stabilizing, Fundamentals Normalizing

Freddie Mac  released its newly updated Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) on Aug. 27, showing the U.S. housing market continuing to plod along with most markets still generally weak, while those with stronger local economies and favorable demographics continue to improve at a much stronger pace. The second quarter MiMi report is also available, which includes further analysis on each of the states, plus the District of Columbia as well as the top 50 metros areas.

News Facts:

  • The national MiMi value stands at 73.7, indicating a weak housing market overall with only a slight improvement (0.04 percent) from May to June and a 3-month positive Continue Reading

New-Home Sales Down 2.4 Percent in July

 Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 412,000 units in July, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales numbers for June were revised up 16,000 to 422,000.

“We are somewhat surprised by this dip, considering builder confidence and new-home starts are on the rise,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “However, builders are increasing their level of inventory in anticipation that sales will gradually improve Continue Reading

Apartment and Condominium Housing Index Posts Positive Gains in Q2

The Multifamily Production Index (MPI), a leading indicator for the multifamily market released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), posted a gain of five points to a reading of 58 for the second quarter. It is the 10th straight quarter with a reading of 50 or above.

The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condominium market on a scale of 0 to 100. The index and all of its components are scaled so that any number over 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions are improving than report conditions are getting worse. The Continue Reading

Construction Employment Increases in 223 Metro Areas Between July 2013 and 2014

Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas and Lake Charles, La. Top Growth List; Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. and Steubenville-Weirton, Ohio-W.V. Experience the Largest Actual and Percentage Declines for the Year

Construction employment expanded in 223 metro areas, declined in 72 and was stagnant in 44 between July 2013 and July 2014, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released ugust 27,  by the Associated General Contractors of America. As employment grows, 25 percent of firms report labor shortages are forcing them to turn down work according to a new survey conducted by SmartBrief, an industry leader in curated business news and custom content, in partnership with the Continue Reading

Equipment Finance Business Volume Rises 8 Percent in July

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA)Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the $827 billion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for July was $7.8 billion, up 8 percent from new business volume in July 2013. Month over month, new business volume was down 13 percent from June. Year to date, cumulative new business volume increased 4 percent compared to 2013.

Receivables over 30 days increased from the previous month to 2.7 percent, and were up from 1.5 percent in the same period in 2013.  Charge-offs were Continue Reading

AED Names WTP Exchange a “Preferred Provider” Four Years in a Row

Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), the world’s largest trade association for construction equipment distributors, has selected WTP Exchange, for the fourth year running as its Preferred Provider for Like-Kind Exchange (LKE) services. WTP Exchange is an affiliate company of global tax and business advisory firm WTP Advisors, which was also recently named to the Inc 500|5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies for the fourth year in a row.

Under Internal Revenue Code Section 1031, no gain or loss is recognized when companies sell business property and acquire property that is like-kind.  For AED members, this means that by taking advantage of anContinue Reading

Deficient Roadways Cost Alabama Drivers as much as $1,562 Annually

The report includes regional pavement condition, congestion and highway safety data, and cost breakdowns for Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery.

Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Alabama motorists a total of $3.1 billion statewide annually due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road and bridge conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Alabama, according to a new report released Aug. 20,  by TRIP, a Washington, D.C .-based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Alabama Continue Reading

Vermeer Corp. Announces Family Succession Plans

As part of its family succession planning process, Vermeer Corporation announced that third-generation family member, Jason Andringa, will serve as the company’s next president & CEO effective Nov. 1, 2015.

On Nov. 1, 2014, Jason will assume the role of president & chief operating officer for one year, when he will transition to the role of president & CEO of Vermeer Corporation. He currently serves as president of Forage and Environmental Solutions.

“Gary Vermeer, my grandfather and Vermeer founder, was very influential for me personally and professionally,” said Jason Andringa. “Since a young age, I had a passion to follow in his footsteps. Continue Reading

Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces Grants to Accelerate Innovative Transportation Projects

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced more than $4 million in grants from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) designed to accelerate innovation in highway project delivery. The funds are intended to help to get roads and bridges repaired and built faster and more efficiently. Additional grants will be announced in coming weeks.

“These innovative investments will give drivers time back with their families instead of sitting in snarled traffic caused by longer than necessary road and bridge repairs and replacement,” said Secretary Foxx. “Creativity is key to innovation, and we have the know-how, which underscores the need for the cost-effective infrastructure investments Continue Reading