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  • Unemployment in the construction sector climbed to a “horrendous” 19.2 percent (not-seasonally adjusted) as an additional 59,000 construction workers lost their jobs in May according to new federal data, said construction economist Ken Simonson, chief economist, Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington, Va., today, according to a June 5 release.Simonson, who discussed...
  • Construction employment fell in 276 of the nation's largest 299 metro areas from April 2008 to April 2009, according to a new analysis of government data conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America's chief economist Ken Simonson. The data highlights the critical need for the federal government to move quickly to invest stimulus funds without needless requirements that could hamper...
  • Spending on construction in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in April as the housing slump eased and more commercial projects got under way.The 0.8 percent gain was the biggest since August and followed a revised 0.4 percent increase the prior month, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Residential construction climbed 0.6 percent and work on power plants and factories propelled commercial...
  • The nation's industrial production fell in April by the smallest amount in six months, fresh evidence that the pace of the economy's decline is slowing.Output by U.S. factories, mines and utilities fell by 0.5 percent last month, after revised declines of 1.7 percent in March and 1 percent in February, the Federal Reserve said Friday. Analysts expected a drop of 0.6 percent in April.Still, the...
  • "Early reports indicate that the infrastructure portion of the stimulus is beginning to do exactly what was intended, put construction workers back on the job," says Ken Simonson, chief economist, AGC, Arlington, Va., after the U.S. Department of Labor issued its April 2009 employment report.  While the report found continued job losses in the construction sector, Ken...
  • Construction spending increased 0.3 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $970 billion, the Census Bureau reported on Monday. The total was down 11 percent from March 2008. Private residential construction fell 4.1 percent for the month and 33 percent from a year earlier, private nonresidential rose 2.7 percent and 1.2 percent  and public construction rose 1.1...
  • The chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington, Va., Ken Simonson, responded to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau showing a surprise uptick in nonresidential construction spending this past March.  Simonson explained that construction can be a lagging indicator and that much of the uptick was from a series of mega energy and...
  • Every day in recent weeks, federal and state agencies have announced new projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the "stimulus" bill. The variety, speed and totals are impressive, given that the bill was signed less than three months ago.Unfortunately, stimulus funding is not enough to offset the continuing sharp downturn in private and state/local-funded...
  • Measures of U.S. manufacturing and consumer confidence last month unexpectedly jumped to their highest levels since the credit crisis intensified in September, indicating the economy is on the mend.The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 40.1 from 36.3 in March; readings less than 50 signal a contraction. The Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer...
  • Nonresidential to see moderating decline during rest of 2009Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction, New York, said construction starts will continue to decline through the remainder of 2009, but at a slowing rate. Murray spoke during the presentation, The Construction Outlook: Implications for Architecture Firms, May 1 at the American Institute of...
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  • Altus Capital Partners, an investment firm focused on middle market manufacturing companies in the United States, acquired GED Integrated Solutions Inc., according to a June 11 announcement. The acquisition will support GED’s continued growth, according to the release. The financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.“We are very excited to now be partnering with Altus Capital Partners as...
  • Officials from Tennessee’s Heritage Glass temporarily suspended operations on May 27, according to a company release, as reported by News Channel 11 in Johnson City, Tennessee. Executives say they are exploring a “potential reinvestment and reorganization situation” for the company.Heritage Glass was formed last year when the company purchased the former AGC North America Blue Ridge glass...
  • Last week, officials from Ontario, Canada-based State Window Corp. announced the launch of Integro Building Systems, a significant new entry in the North American curtain wall construction sector, according to a May 5 company release.A company incorporated in Canada, Integro is a partnership among State and a number of notable construction industry leaders. Integro will design, manufacture, and...