Data Indicates that the Construction Industry Unemployment Hit a Six-Year Low in September

Data Indicates that the Construction Industry Unemployment Hit a Six-Year Low in September

According to a press release issued by Associated General Contractors of America, an analysis of the most recent government data indicates that employment in the construction industry rose by 20,000 jobs in September, and the industry’s unemployment rate dipped to 8.5%, a new six-year low.  In fact, the 8.5% unemployment rate marks a considerable improvement from the 11.9% unemployment rate for the industry just twelve months prior.  Additionally, construction spending increased for the fifth consecutive month in August.

Although all of this data paints a very positive picture of the construction industry overall, public construction remains a sector in decline.  The Associated General Contractors of America warned the data it analyzed predates the federal government shutdown, which may result in weaker industry spending numbers and hiring gains next month, and certainly will produce lower public construction figures.  Additionally, the pre-shutdown numbers still indicate that while overall construction spending increased, public spending remains down nearly 2% from the previous year.

The full press release from the Associated General Contractors of America is available here.

Federal Government Shutdown Having Limited Affect on Federal Highway Administration Construction, but Affecting Federal Contract Solicitation and Awards

Federal Government Shutdown Having Limited Affect on Federal Highway Administration Construction, but Affecting Federal Contract Solicitation and Awards

As the shutdown of the federal government enters its second week, its impact on federally funded construction projects has been somewhat muted because of the way that certain federal agencies receive their funding.  For example, because the Federal Highway Administration is funded by the Highway Trust Fund, which still has funding through the end of the 2014 fiscal year, the shutdown has virtually no impact on any Federal Highway Administration construction projects.  The Airport Improvement Program is also funded by a trust, and thus, the federal government shutdown will have much less of an impact on Airport Improvement Program construction projects.  Other agencies, including the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration are not funded by a trust fund, and therefore, the government shutdown will have a much more significant impact on those agencies’ construction projects.

Overall, however, because funding has already been appropriated for most ongoing and already awarded direct federal construction projects, the federal government shutdown will have virtually no impact on ongoing and already awarded contracts.  Rather, the furloughs of non-essential government employees has suspended pending solicitations and awards, including task orders for existing multiple award contracts, until the shutdown comes to an end.

More information on the impact of the shutdown on federal construction contracts is available at the Association of General Contractors’ website.  The source of the information in this post is available here.

Association of General Contractors’ Website Has Resource Center for Contractors Affected by Government Shutdown

Association of General Contractors’ Website Has Resource Center for Contractors Affected by Government Shutdown

The Association of General Contractors has created a Resource Center to provide information to government contractors about the current federal government shutdown.  The Resource Center, which is available here, contains links to contingency plans drafted many different federal agencies detailing how the agency will likely proceed and operate in the event of a government shutdown.  While each agency’s contingency plan is intended to be informative rather than authoritative, the documents should provide some guidance for government contractors about the process for dealing with federal government agency construction project owners during the federal government shutdown.