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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Construction Employment in Crisis

Construction employment declines in 48 states in August of this year compared with August of last year were substantial, according to Building Design and Construction (September 18, 2009).

The five biggest percentage losses in construction employment over the year occurred in Arizona (27% or 50,000 jobs) and Nevada (25% or 29,500 jobs), followed by Connecticut, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Construction PPI (September 15, 2009) notes that the producer price index (PPI) for inputs to construction industries, a weighted average of the cost of all materials used in every type of construction, increased 1.1% in August compared to the previous month.

This increase was caused by a 17% increase in the cost of diesel fuel, a 6.8% jump in steel prices and a 11% rise in copper prices.

It must be time to get back to reality and common sense, which could include halting unnecessary changes in design standards and extricating politics from design and construction issues.

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