Construction News Tracker Video: Construction Hiring Spikes

January saw the largest construction industry employment hike since 2009; plus more construction industry news on the February 20, 2014 edition of Construction News Tracker

Vehicles miles tax proposed by key politician...

Construction hiring outlook analysis...

And a peek at CONEXPO...

That and more on Construction News Tracker brought to you by Caterpillar and produced by

Housing Transportation Committee Chair Bill Schuster is against raising the federal gas tax to pay for infrastructure. Instead, the Pennsylvania republican supports imposition of a vehicle miles tax to fund the beleaguered account that pays for the nation's highway programs. In recent comments, Schuster said, economically speaking, now is not the time to raise the federal gas tax from its present 18.4 cents per gallon level, even though the highway fund with a $20 billion deficit is expected to go broke at the end of September 2014. Like others seeking a solution, Schuster wants a long-term funding plan.

Another plan to return all highway and transit spending back to states is gaining momentum in the House. Congressman Tom Graves, a Georgia republican, has 38 co-sponsors of his bill seeking to cut the gas tax to 3.7 cents per gallon and gut federal surface transportation spending from $10 billion down to $88 million over five years.

January saw the largest construction industry employment hike since 2009 with an increase of 48,000 jobs over December. All good news considering the industry continues to deal with a shortage of skilled workers. A recent survey of 800 AGC members resulted in contractors reporting an upbeat 2014 outlook as AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson tells us in this extensive report.

Construction Industry Employment Reaches Highest Level Since 2009

Nationally, 41 percent of construction firms said they will increase their payrolls this year.

Similarly, a report from Moody Analytics shares the AGC result. Health care, high tech and energy fields are likely to see the greatest job increase with Texas and California tallying the most as the charts indicate.

North Dakota, with its energy boom underway, is seen as gaining 3.57 percent; while Illinois and the District of Columbia will likely be the worst for growth.

Two-thousand four hundred exhibitors, acres of equipment on display and thousands of your pals rubbing elbows to get the best information and education about construction is on the horizon at CONEXPO 2014. The Las Vegas Convention Center is the site of the March 4th through March 8th global gathering, the largest show in North America, as manufacturers will display brand new models, new techniques and new technologies.

And then there's the fun of it all with umpteen opportunities to win prizes and money ranging from wearing a safety vest that could put $100 in your pocket to sharing a photo to win $250.

And all of us at will be there as well live streaming the latest information, technology advancements and convention updates daily.