Pamplin Media Group – Oregon construction contractors gloomy as 2020 grinds on

Project cancellations on the rise in contracting, while residential building flourishes

COURTESY: REED'S CROSSING - Residential construction work hold strong, like this at Reed's Crossing in Hillsboro, but many commercial projects are being canceled during the pandemic.

A recent survey by the Association of General Contractors found growing pessimism among contractors amid rising project cancellations.

In terms of business volume returning to a normal level relative to a year ago, 38% of respondents said they expect it will take more than six months.

In June that number was 30%.

An AGC spokesperson said the likely reason for the gloomier view is that 60% of respondents report a scheduled project has been postponed or canceled, up from 32% in June.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying recession drag on, companies both expect to lay off staff and then hire them back.

Twenty three percent of firms said they expect to furlough employees temporarily and/or terminate employees to reduce headcount in the next 12 months, but 40% expect to recall employees and/or add new employees.COURTESY: REED'S CROSSING - Residential construction work hold strong, like this at Reed's Crossing in Hillsboro, but many commercial projects are being canceled during the pandemic.

In the 2019 Workforce Survey, 72% of firms expected to add employees.

Despite unemployment running as high as 16% in 2020, 52% of respondents reported difficulty filling some or all hourly craft positions. Salaried positions were also proving hard to fill, with 28% of firms complaining.

Forty-one percent of firms report a decrease in headcount over the past 12 months, 27% an increase, and 46% no change.

While construction employment increased in August by 16,000, gains were limited to residential and select nonresidential categories. There was a net decrease of 11,000 in nonresidential construction employment, including nonresidential building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction.

Between July 2019 and July 2020, New York City lost the most construction jobs (-26,500, -16%), while Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md. added the most construction jobs over the year (4,800, 6%). Walla Walla, Washington, had the largest percentage gain (25%, 300).

Construction spending inched up 0.1% to a

Continue Reading

Construction grinds to a halt as Msunduzi Municipality has to raise more than R100m to pay contractors for work done

By Thami Magubane Time of article published27m ago

Share this article:

Durban – Work on the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN) in Pietermaritzburg may be halted as the Msunduzi Municipality needs to find more than R100million to pay for work that is currently under way.

The total value of the work currently under way is valued at around R240m.

The municipality successfully applied to National Treasury for a roll-over of around R90m that had not been used and now needs to raise about R150m from its own internal funds to be able to pay for this work on the Moses Mabhida Road.

It admitted recently that between the months of August and June, the contractors had not been paid.

Last week, administrator of the municipality Scelo Duma stated the municipality was struggling financially.

The project has been plagued by extensive delays and poor spending, which has forced the National Treasury to cut its funding.

DA councillor Sibongiseni Majola said the project was key to the city and abandoning it would be disastrous.

“The municipality has committed more than R200million on this project but it does not have this money, it has to find it somewhere from its own internal budgets.

“We were lucky in that the National Treasury approved the roll-over of about R90million of the funds that had been committed, after the council wrote to them detailing why they were not able to be spent.

“That means we are now short of about R150million.

“The situation is very difficult, I always say to colleagues that if the contractors could hear the conversation we are having about the finances of the city, they would abandon that site,” he said.

Majola said it was a bad move to cancel the funding for the project by the

Continue Reading