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What is your forecast for the construction industry in 2014?
What is your forecast for the construction industry in 2014?
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Latest News & Updates

New York Metro Area Sees Construction Demand Rise

In what is surely good news for both contracting firms and those working construction jobs in the densely populated New York City metropolitan area, the value of contracts for future construction projects in the area went up 25 percent year over year. The increase was the same for both residential building deals as well as commercial and industrial construction, showing a steady growth for all types of development. Long Island-based newspaper Newsday highlighted figures from McGraw-Hill Construction showing that the value of all such contracts signed in May 2014 was approximately $1.9 billion, up about $469 million from one year ago.

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Construction Employment Rises Across Many States

Here's some good news for both contracting firms and laborers looking for construction jobs: Year-over-year and month-to-month employment is on the rise, indicating an increase in building opportunities. While the construction industry was somewhat more resilient than many others during the economic downturn that plagued the U.S. in recent years, it still took a hit and saw reduced opportunities for growth. The market is still somewhat unstable in the short term, as the decline in non-residential construction in May, reported on by Contractor Magazine, indicates. Thankfully, the slowdown in commercial and residential construction, along with the long-term decline in spending by local, state and federal government agencies, is being substantially recovered from, based on recent labor statistics.

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Public Construction Spending Could Rebound Soon

Despite the recent positive developments in both the residential and commercial construction markets, there's one area where construction projects still haven't truly begun to rebound to pre-Great Recession levels: public jobs funded by various levels of government. While local, state and federal authorities are all still funding infrastructure improvements and building new structures, the overall amount of building simply hasn't recovered. Projects are often addressed only when they become dire needs, and less proactive construction, such as road improvements, is occurring. However, Business Insider reported some interesting statistics that may indicate an upward surge in this part of the construction market. Namely, dealers of Caterpillar equipment believe the market for government construction has hit its bottom and will soon rebound.

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OSHA Spearheads Program on Tree-Trimming Safety

Dealing with trees is often the province of landscapers, but construction jobs sometimes involve arboreal concerns as well. Another area of crossover includes companies offering a mix of services, including some landscaping and construction. Contracting crews have to deal with trees during initial build site preparations, and when it comes to repairs on homes and commercial businesses. Because construction projects will need to deal with the trimming or even removal of trees on a regular basis, building firms need to make sure they're ready to deal with the potentially life-threatening safety issues that can arise. To promote education and safety as they relate to trees, the Occupational and Safety and Health Administration is hosting a program on these issues in some areas of the U.S. this summer, including the 5-state Philadelphia region that includes all of Pennsylvania and Virginia, along with Washington, D.C.

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Apartment Occupancy Rise Interesting News for Builders, Investors

While much attention has been paid to the recent numbers related to homebuilding starts in the U.S., the rise in apartment occupancy may have been overlooked. Although both investors and the construction marketplace as a whole have focused more on the building of single-family homes in recent months, individual dwelling units have hit the highest level of occupancy in six years, according to statistics from apartment data company Axiometrics and reported by CNBC. In all, 95 percent of such units were occupied in May. Home and apartment occupancy numbers are more resilient than some economic measures, but this increase in the number of people living in apartments is an indicator of financial recovery.

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