SBE News



Capitol Update 4/19/2024

March jobless rates down in 6 states, up in 1; payroll jobs up in 5 states

In March, unemployment rates were lower in 6 states, higher in 1 state, and stable in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 5 states and was essentially unchanged in 45 states and the District.

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Economists trim recession odds, rate-cut forecasts

Business and academic economists now foresee a 29% chance of recession in the coming year, down from 39% during a previous survey in January, according to a poll by The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, economists have reduced their interest-rate cut expectations following recent inflation reports that have come in hotter than expected. Full Story: The Wall Street Journal

AI has much to offer construction workers

Builders haven’t been slow in adopting artificial intelligence for a wide variety of roles, leveraging in particular its ability to assist construction personnel. James McGehee and Bradford Kelley of Littler Mendelson PC take a look at what AI has to offer construction workers in the form of improved safety and accessibility for workers with disabilities.

Full Story: For Construction Pros

Low bid isn’t the only way to win

Failing to place the low bid for a project may not necessarily mean a contractor will fail to win the work. Chad Prinkey writes that the key to winning in this situation lies in offering something of greater value by really listening to the client, building solid relationships and raising internal standards for an operational advantage. Full Story: Construction Dive  

Joint employer rule down for now but may return

The joint employer rule instituted by the National Labor Relations Board has been struck down by the Senate, mirroring rejection in the House. However, President Joe Biden has promised a veto, which could reinstate the rule minus further congressional action with a two-thirds vote that is considered unlikely. Full Story: Society for Human Resource Management (tiered subscription model)

Analysis: PLAs, Davis-Bacon overhaul will be costly

Mandated project labor agreements for projects topping $35 million and significant changes last year to the Davis-Bacon Act are expected to exert upward pressure on already rising construction labor costs this year and beyond. Gordian’s Samuel Giffin explains the changes and the likely extent of their effects. Full Story: Building Design+Construction  

3 US cities among world’s top 10 priciest to build in

London edged past Geneva as the world’s most expensive city to build in, according to the Arcadis 2024 International Construction Costs report. In its evaluation of 100 cities, New York City, San Francisco and Philadelphia were among the top 10 most expensive for builders. Full Story: Construction Briefing

Conservation, industry get equal status on public lands

Under a rule newly adopted by the Bureau of Land Management, conservation would have equal standing with various extractive industries on public lands. Republican members of Congress, however, have stated their opposition and intention to cancel the rule. Full Story: The Associated Press 

Calif.-Mexico port opening delayed

Even though construction is almost done on the Mexican side of the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry linking with California, the opening of the port is at least a year behind schedule due to delays on the US side of the border, according to Baja California Gov. Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda. The project, which has a $1.2 billion price tag on the US side, was originally slated to open this year, but the US hasn’t broken ground. Full Story: KUSI-TV (San Diego)

Preliminary work continues for Calif.-Nev. rail project

Land surveying, geotechnical boring and utility preparation are continuing for Brightline West’s planned high-speed rail line linking Southern California and Las Vegas. Brightline has laid out details of the work, which began in January and extends along the Interstate 15 right of way. Full Story: Railway Track & Structures

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