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Interview with Ken Simonson, Chief Economist of AGC America [VIDEO]

I had the opportunity to interview Ken Simonson, one of the most respected economists in the country (and one of Construction Citizen’s leading bloggers) after a recent presentation.  He was in Houston to speak at the Associated General Contractors (AGC) 2014 Annual Chapter Meeting and breakfast.  Ken is traveling around the country (when the weather doesn’t ground him) to deliver his thoughts about the industry and the outlook for 2014.

We have covered his presentation on Construction Citizen, but we wanted to ask him a couple of questions like “What’s happening in this midterm election year that might have an impact on the economy?”

Interesting that he said that what Congress does on immigration could impact this year and could help us solve our labor shortages in the construction industry.  However, in terms of timing, he does not think that it will happen before the midterm elections in November, so it will be late this year with some possible “lame duck” members of Congress passing a joint bill.

When quizzed on the attitude of the contractors that he talks to around the country, he said that they seemed much more optimistic than in January of 2013.  He did say again that the recovery in the construction industry has been uneven across the country and that the Houston recovery of jobs across the board has been much faster and definitely not the norm for the rest of the country.

He said that the projection of 125,000 new residents in Houston every year for the foreseeable future was 10 times what the growth in the DC metro area is forecast to be.  Maybe we should be glad that is the case especially in the political arena.

You can watch the entire interview in the 6-minute video below.


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