In today’s construction news, read about how, in spite of high loan rates, construction companies created 39,000 new jobs in March, according to Labor Department data released on Friday. Local government, eateries, and the healthcare industry all saw strong hiring. Notwithstanding the fact that over 400,000 people entered or returned to the labor force, the unemployment rate fell to 3.8%. Meanwhile, the new maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility in Oklahoma City, US, is being built by aviation services provider AAR and its partners. 

 At Will Rogers World Airport, a groundbreaking ceremony was conducted for the new three-bay facility that will be constructed next to AAR’s existing operations. On the other hand, AGC’s Construction Safety Excellence Awards (CSEA) saw Jordan Foster Construction of El Paso, Texas, take home the main prize. The company was one of 57 that received recognition for their dedication to risk management, occupational health, and safety. Lastly, travelers should anticipate construction near the intersection of S.C. 170 and U.S. 278 beginning on Monday. Throughout the week, the construction will take place during the day. According to Jared Fralix, Beaufort County’s Assistant County Administrator of Infrastructure, the repair won’t affect traffic. During the day, only road maintenance that doesn’t affect traffic may be completed.

March Employment Gains Fueled by Construction Boom

Original Source: Construction boom helps fuel job gains in March

Construction companies contributed to another good month for the US labor market.

The Labor Department said Friday that construction firms gained 39,000 jobs in March, a remarkable performance in the face of rising interest rates. Hiring was also strong in healthcare, restaurants, and municipal government. The unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, despite the fact that more than 400,000 people entered or returned to the labor market.

“Today’s release was a blockbuster jobs report, indicating that the recession is not coming anytime soon,” said Anirban Basu, chief economist for the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). He highlighted that construction employment increases in March were roughly twice as strong as the monthly average for the previous year.

According to the ABC’s most recent Construction Confidence Index, over 48% of builders anticipate hiring in the next six months, while only around 11% expect to lay off workers.

This is surprising given the current high borrowing prices. Mortgage rates are currently hovering around 6.8%, according to Freddie Mac. In March, around 14,000 new positions were added in residential construction, 19,000 in non-residential construction, and 6,000 in civil engineering.

“We’re seeing an increase in project opportunities for our employees,” said Ryan Odendahl, CEO of Kwest Group, a civil and industrial construction company based in Perrysburg, Ohio. “We’re doing everything from a large road construction project to bike path and park-style projects.”

Kwest employs approximately 340 employees and is trying to hire more. Around 20% of the company’s employees are military veterans, which Odendahl considers a suitable training ground.

“A squad leader is a foreman with different skills,” Odendahl explained. “The ability to work outdoors. The ability to adapt fast and deal with the challenges that come with projects on a daily basis.”

In March, the unemployment rate for construction workers was 5.4%, higher than the national average but lower than 5.6% a year earlier.

“Young people are starting to see the opportunity, both from an earnings potential and a growth potential that the construction industry offers,” he said. “We need to do a better job as an industry of communicating some of the exciting things that are happening in construction. We compete with all of the other industries in the economy for workers.”

Overall, U.S. firms added 303,000 jobs in March, far exceeding forecasts’ expectations. The strength of the labor market has allowed the Federal Reserve to take its time lowering interest rates.

“We don’t need to be in a hurry to cut,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell recently told the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. “We can wait and become more confident that in fact inflation is coming down to 2%.”

The Fed will keep a careful eye on the March inflation figures, which are due out next week. In March, average salaries increased by 4.1%, almost definitely exceeding inflation.

MRO Facility Construction in Oklahoma, US, Will be Started by AAR 

Original Source: AAR begins construction on MRO facility in Oklahoma, US

Aircraft services provider AAR and partners began construction on the new Oklahoma City MRO facility. 

New three-bay facility next to AAR’s Will Rogers World Airport operations was broken ground at a ceremony.  

More than 150 people, including AAR, Alaska Airlines, and state and local officials, attended the groundbreaking.  

Alaska Airlines, an AAR customer for over two decades, has increased its maintenance commitment. 

The extension will add over 80,000ft² of hangar and storage capacity for all 737 models, including 737-10. 

According to AAR chairman, president, and CEO John Holmes, “Today’s groundbreaking has been made possible thanks to collaborative efforts across AAR and Alaska Airlines, partnerships with Oklahoma City Airport Trust, and state and local representatives who are passionate about expanding aviation in  

We are pleased to create 200 full-time AAR jobs through local technical schools and workforce development partners like Choose Aerospace. 

An Oklahoma legislative grant funded the project, which is set to open in January 2026.  

The remaining costs should be met by airport rent reductions. 

JE Dunn leads construction. 

JE Dunn Oklahoma City vice-president Jason Bishop said: “This groundbreaking isn’t just about a hangar. An excellent experience for all is the goal.  

“JE Dunn is proud to partner with The Oklahoma City Airport Trust (OCAT) to support business growth in our city.” 

Early in April 2024, AAR began building an MRO facility at Miami International Airport, Florida. 

‘Safest’ American Construction Firm Recognized

Original Source: ‘Safest’ construction company in the US named

Jordan Foster Construction of El Paso, Texas, won the grand prize in AGC’s Construction Safety Excellence Awards (CSEA), along with 57 other companies, for their safety and occupational health management and risk reduction efforts.

Jordan Foster Construction was chosen as the grand prize winner from 21 first-place winners in six occupational groups.

“The firms’ commitment to safety is lifesaving, and we want to acknowledge and honor that achievement,” said association senior vice president and ERS Inc. president Todd Roberts in Jackson, Mississippi.  “They are finding new, innovative, and effective ways to overcome construction industry safety and health challenges.”

The awards are divided into sections and categories depending on work quantity and nature, therefore, Roberts noted numerous winners. Five independent construction safety and health professionals chose the CSEA winners, he noted. The contractors’ association’s annual convention in San Diego included awards program finals judging.

At US 278 and SC 170, Construction is Set to Commence this Week

Original Source: Construction begins this week at US 278 and SC 170. How will it affect your commute?

Commuters may expect construction along U.S. 278 and S.C. 170 starting Monday. Construction will occur all week during daylight hours. Jared Fralix, Beaufort County’s Assistant County Administrator of Infrastructure, says the repair won’t slow traffic. Only traffic-free road construction can be done throughout the day. This begins a series of renovations around the major intersection. Crews working on storm drainage isolated this week’s work to road shoulders.

Once drainage is done, improvements will be visible. The access ramp from 170 to 278 toward Hilton Head Island will no longer combine with traffic. A free-flow lane on 170 will serve that ramp. These adjustments will necessitate nighttime pavement construction. Resurfacing will be needed on all four intersection ramps and roadways in all directions. Fralix expects this work to start around May 1.

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, In March, U.S. companies added 303,000 jobs, which was a lot more than what economists thought would happen. Fed has been able to take its time cutting interest rates because the job market is strong. When the March inflation numbers come out next week, the Fed will be paying close attention. In March, average wages went up 4.1%, which was almost probably more than the rise in prices.

Meanwhile, in order to handle all 737 versions, AAR will have more hangar and warehouse capacity thanks to the expansion. Rent discounts from the airport are expected to cover the remaining expenses. JE Dunn is in charge of the building project. This occurs soon after AAR started building its MRO facility at Florida’s Miami International Airport in April 2024. 

On the other hand, in San Diego, California, during the contractors’ association’s annual convention, the awards program’s final judges were chosen. In an awards ceremony hosted by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), a Texas-based construction company emerged victorious as the nation’s safest enterprise.

Lastly, according to Jared Fralix, Beaufort County’s Assistant County Administrator of Infrastructure, the repair won’t affect traffic. During the day, only road maintenance that doesn’t affect traffic may be completed. This will serve as the catalyst for a number of enhancements to the vicinity of the busy intersection. As crews work on storm drainage this week, their activity is limited to the road’s shoulders.