Employment in highway and bridge construction fell by 3.6 percent in April 2008, compared to the same month one year ago, according to a recent American Road & Transportation Builders Association economic analysis
Employment in highway and bridge construction fell by 3.6 percent in April 2008, compared to the same month one year ago, according to a recent American Road & Transportation Builders Association economic analysis. Data for the month indicates 318,100 workers were employed by highway and bridge contractors Û down 7,100 from comparable 2007 levels.
An ARTBA economist said several broad factors continue to affect the contracting climate. During the first quarter of 2008, contract awards were down for highway, bridge and airport projects, despite a marked increase in subway and light-rail work. More startling, the group notes, is the factor of construction material costs, which have skyrocketed 55 percent since 2003. The decrease in employment reflects overall market trends, says ARTBA Vice President of Policy Alison Black. Although the nominal value of highway and bridge construction work was up 3 percent in April 2008 compared to April 2007, the real value has been adversely impacted by higher material prices. These factors drive employment.
In its Transportation Construction Industry Employment report, however, ARTBA notes several positive developments. Employment in the construction machinery segment grew 5.6 percent in the 2007-08 period, while the average April hourly wage of workers in transportation construction continued to rank above nontransportation construction jobs.