AGC Urges Congress to Support Trump's Infrastructure Plan
Construction Firms Have Capacity For Public Sector Investments
The Associated General Contractors of America is urging Congress to support President-elect Donald Trump's long-term proposals to significantly upgrade the nation's deteriorating infrastructure.
In a recent construction industry employment data report, AGC officials noted that private-sector demand for construction is more than offsetting declines in public-sector investments in infrastructure and other public works projects.
The AGC also encouraged Congress to pass a new water resources bill to finance upgrades to waterways.
In November, the heavy and civil engineering segment shed 2,100 jobs because of a drop in public sector investment in construction projects, AGC officials said. Most of the declines have been in the subsectors of highways, water, sewer, conservation and transportation.
"It is high time to make major commitments to restoring and improving the infrastructure needed to enhance commerce, safety and the quality of life," said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the AGC. "Construction firms have the capacity to meet any future growth in public-sector infrastructure investments."
The construction industry gained a net 19,000 jobs in November, and although this lifted its overall employment number to an eight-year high of 6.7 million, public sector funding to improve infrastructure and transportation systems is not keeping pace with demand, the AGC said.
"This report shows the construction industry has the capacity to handle additional infrastructure work even as private nonresidential projects, apartments and homebuilding continue to go up," said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the AGC. "The industry would be adding more high-paid jobs if local, state and federal officials were investing more to build new and repair aging infrastructure."