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Weekly Roundup: Rise in workplace safety jobs, infrastructure bill, & more

Weekly Roundup: Rise in workplace safety jobs, infrastructure bill, & more

May 13, 2019

Projected rise in occupational safety jobs attributed to construction industry

The construction industry is expected to significantly contribute to the increase in occupational safety and health jobs in the coming years. U.S. Dep’t of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • The number of workplace safety and health jobs is expected to increase faster than the overall employment growth in the U.S. through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • With the construction industry’s unrelenting growth, the workplace safety and health field is seeing more and more professionals joining. Occupational safety and health jobs will increase by 8.1 % to 10.1 % through 2026, according to the BLS’s projection.
  • Regarding the prediction, BLS employment economist Alan Zilberman said, “The number of safety and health positions should continue to grow because industries where safety is a major concern, such as construction, are expanding.”
  • The entire workforce will grow to 167.6 by 2026, recording a 7.4 % increase between 2016 and 2026, the agency said.

Democrats and Republicans find little common ground on infrastructure bill

Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike have raised their respective issues concerning the hotly discussed infrastructure bill, for which President Donald Trump recently agreed to allocate a $2 trillion budget. CNN

  • Republicans have aired concerns about raising taxes to fund the massive undertaking. Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway said the U.S. president did not endorse funding infrastructure through an increase in the federal gas tax.
  • Some Democrats, meanwhile, expressed approval of a tax increase for funding, earning the support of some business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
  • With these differences, including debates on whether Trump can be counted on with this infrastructure plan, it remains to be seen when an agreement can be arrived at.

US construction costs rose in 2018

Construction costs in the U.S. increased by 5.7 % in 2018, a report by Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) showed. Rider Levett Bucknall

  • According to RLB’s First Quarter 2019 North American Quarterly Construction Cost Report, Chicago (7.6%), Portland, Oregon (7.1%), San Francisco (6.7%), Phoenix (6.7%), Washington, D.C. (6.5%), and Seattle (6.4%) exhibited the highest jumps in construction costs.
  • Meanwhile, the metros that recorded increases that were below the national average were Las Vegas (5.4%), Honolulu (4.8%), New York (4.5%), Boston (4.4%), Los Angeles (4.4%), and Denver (4%).
  • The firm said the spikes in cost included materials, labor, taxes, profit, and overhead.
  • RLB explained that during heightened activity in construction, overall cost increases are expected to be at a higher rate than those in labor and material costs because the overhead and profit factors increase as demand rises.