Weekly Roundup: Construction wage hike, EO on promoting American-made goods, & more

Weekly Roundup: Construction wage hike, EO on promoting American-made goods, & more

July 22, 2019

Construction Insider is a weekly roundup of the latest news and insights in construction.

US construction hourly wage soars to $30

The average hourly wage for the construction sector has soared by 3.2% to $30.73 over the last year as more job opportunities open. GCR

  • The current figure for construction hourly earnings is higher by 10.1% than the average figure for private-sector wages, which falls at $27.90.
  •  The number of construction jobs has increased by 224,000 or by 3.2% in the last year. The non-residential sector alone has added 146,700 jobs in the past year.
  •  “Construction firms continue to go to great lengths to recruit and retain workers during one of the tightest labor markets,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of Associated General Contractors of America.

Trump OK’s order on buying more American-made goods

US President Donald Trump signs an executive order (EO) requiring government agencies to purchase goods that have more American-made components. AP News

  •  Suppliers of iron and steel product welcome this EO as it seeks to boost US manufacturing sales and to increase the percentage of US components in American goods from 50% to 75%.
  •  “Strong domestic procurement preferences for federally funded infrastructure projects are vital to the… the domestic steel industry,” said Thomas J. Gibson, CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute.
  •  Some analysts, however, believe that the federal government might end up paying more if they procure locally.
  •  “It’s taxpayers that will end up paying for this policy,” said Bryan Riley, director of the conservative National Taxpayers Union’s Free Trade Initiative.

Materials costs for home building drops

The costs of materials for residential construction has dropped by 1.1 % in June for the first time in four months. Builder

  • The decrease in producer price index (PPI) for residential construction is only the second dip for housing material costs in the last two years.
  • The PPI for June is significantly cheaper than what was registered in the same month last year when the prices soared by 8.8%.
  • Lumber and plywood prices had both decreased in June, while softwood lumber also dipped by 1.7% following a three-month declining trend.

Last week’s roundup

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