A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

Last year a survey of over 4,000 low-wage workers in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles was released in the report, Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers: Violations of Employment and Labor Laws in America’s Cities.  The work was completed by three groups – The Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois, The National Employment Law Project, and the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.The purpose of the study was to take a look at the status of labor violations among the low-wage workers in those three cities.
June 29, 2010
Mike Salsgiver, executive director of the Oregon-Columbia chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), recently wrote an interesting article about the state of...
June 28, 2010
"The number of independent contractors in the total employed workforce grew from 6.7 percent in 1995 to 7.4 percent in 2005.  In 2005, there were 10.3 million independent contractors.  Independent contractors, in 2005, had an average age of 46 years, were almost twice as likely to be male than female, and almost two-thirds had some college or higher education.  Independent contractors were employed in a wide range of industries (such as professional services and construction) and occupations (including sales and management)."That is the opening paragraph from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO)’s study on independent contractor misclassification in the construction industry (GAO-07-859T) released on May 8, 2010 in a hearing before the
June 25, 2010
“Passing legislation that aims to crack down on ‘worker misclassification’ is an issue of fairness,” said Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) about his Employee Misclassification Prevention Act at a Senate Hearing entitled, Leveling the Playing Field: Protecting Workers and Businesses Affected by Misclassification. Brown originally introduced his bill, The Employee Misclassification Prevention Act, in the Senate last April.  It is the latest in a number of legislative actions directed at the problem that is especially rampant in the construction industry across the US.  Many contractors and subs are using hourly workers and day laborers, some of them undocumented aliens, and classifying their workers as independent contractors in order to cut costs, avoid paying medical benefits, social security and overtime as part of the cash society in the industry.
June 22, 2010
We found a chart that you might be interested in on a site called Calculated Risk that charts the percentage of job losses for previous and current recessions.  It is set up to align at the point of maximum job losses during each recession and it shows that we are on the upswing if you consider the census bureau hires, but are looking at a dip if you discount them.  This chart is interesting in that it shows that we are in a very slow recovery.
June 19, 2010
In an earlier posting, we noted that the President had signed Executive Order No. 13502 requiring that Federal projects over $25 million have a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with...
June 16, 2010
The blue van pulled up to the curb in front of the trauma center in one of the largest medical centers in the county.  The side doors slid open and a man in workers’ clothes...
June 11, 2010
With the unemployment rate in the construction industry still lingering at about 24% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and with many former construction workers...
June 09, 2010
You might not know it but there is a shortage of skilled craftspeople in the industry.  Today, with the 24% unemployment across the industry, probably not; however, look at these figures.  In its updated projections, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that there will be 1,300,000 new construction jobs created in the construction industry between today and 2018.  That represents a 19% growth rate and is the largest increase in the Goods producing sector in this country.  That represents almost 163,000 new construction jobs a year for the next 8 years.With the economy in recession and with what is beginning to look like a “long tail” on this recession, that demand will probably not be evident until late 2011 or early 2012 and then the rate will increase at a greater rate.  In order to meet that demand, we need to be doing something about it today.  
June 05, 2010
Building Information Modeling or BIM is being used by architects, engineers and contractors around the US and even around the world to create new and exciting buildings.  BIM is a way to virtually construct a proposed building in order to avoid conflicts among the various spatial, structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The avoidance of systems conflicts and the delays that would follow on site during construction are key to the successful completion of a project for the owners and users.
June 04, 2010