CONTRACTORS: RULE HARMS COMPETITION, SMALL BUSINESS

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Leading construction economist assesses slowing private, nonresidential work

Sources: Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Nonresidential construction fell for a second consecutive month. An ABC analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows seasonally adjusted, annualized spending of $687 billion in August, 1.1 percent and 1.3 percent lower than prior month and August 2015 levels, respectively. Four of the five largest nonresidential subsectors—power, highway and street, commercial and manufacturing—combined to fall 2.2 percent on a monthly basis in August 2016.

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Lead construction economists confirm private sectors’ near-term growth prospects

Source: Associated Builders and Contractors, Washington, D.C.

The Associated Builders & Contractors, American Institute of Architects and National Association of Home Builders chief economists assembled in Washington, D.C., for a mid-year market forecast, outlining stable to strong residential and commercial project activity through 2017.

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Appellate Court rejects challenge to union-tailored ‘ambush’ election rule

AEM

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision rejecting an Associated Builders & Contractors challenge to the National Labor Relations Board’s controversial “ambush” election final rule. ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin of Littler Mendelson P.C. in Washington, D.C., argued the case on behalf of ABC of Texas, the Central Texas Chapter of ABC, and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Texas earlier this year in New Orleans.

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Incident reduction secondary in rewrite of OSHA reporting, anti-retaliation rules

By Don Marsh

An Associated Builders & Contractors-led lawsuit filed last month adds perspective to the curious Occupational Safety and Health Administration case noted here in April, where United States Steel Corp. found itself on the defensive for a zero tolerance policy on delayed workplace injury reporting. The ABC action spotlights anti-retaliation measures the agency applied to the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker.

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ABC leads coalition suing agency over union-biased ‘persuader’ rule

A lawsuit Associated Builders & Contractors and other national or state groups have filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas challenges the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final “persuader rule.” Officially titled Interpretation of the “Advice” Exemption, it revises the definition of what activities constitute “advice” and expands circumstances under which public reporting is required per the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959.

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Construction interests compound court challenges to OSHA silica rule

Associated Builders & Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America American Road & Transportation Builders Association and four peer groups plan to join eight state affiliates petitioning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for review of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s final rule on crystalline silica exposure. Released in late March, it sets a threshold of 50-micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour shift, compared to a longstanding 250-microgram level for the construction industry.

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ORGANIZATIONS – APRIL 2016

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The Concrete Industry Management Program’s National Steering Committee grossed more than $925,000 at its annual auction, held in conjunction with the World of Concrete 2016. “[It] surpassed our highest gross proceeds total ever,” affirms Auction Committee Chairman Mike Philipps (Cemex USA). “We had a record in terms of the value of donated items and attendees that helped make this year’s event a tremendous success.”

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Treasury Department: Construction industry shoulders top tax rate

Source: Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.

A U.S. Department of the Treasury analysis confirms that a typical construction company faces an average effective federal tax burden of 30.3 percent against the 23.3 percent average for all U.S. businesses. The industry likewise pays the highest effective tax rate—the percent of income businesses actually pay in taxes—of any sector of the economy.

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