Construction Job Gains Outlook

The construction sector, including data from the both residential and non-residential contracting, experienced 3.5% increase in April 2019 compared to April 2018.

  • Texas added the largest state gain of employment with 32,500 jobs. Louisiana lost the most construction jobs with 8,400.
  • West Virginia had the highest annual growth in the construction industry with 33.7%. Vermont reported the biggest decline at 7.2%.

Nationwide, the job growth (excluding farm workers) increased by 263,000 over the month of April—stronger than expected from estimates in March. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that is a 41% increase, but 8 states and the District of Columbia did see a decrease.

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All 50 states increased in employment from the year-to-year average ending in April. “12 states recorded annualized growth to and/or above 1.8% in employment, which was the national growth rate.” Texas added the most with 294,200 jobs.


Builders License Exam Prep & State Approved Continuing Education

Ladders: Are they the Best Tool for the Job?

Ladders are the oldest tool still in use today. These amazing tools date back approximately 10,000 years.  Despite being around for ages, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recently did a study and discovered that in the last decade 81% of fall injuries among construction workers treated in the U.S. involved a ladder. Ladders are a crucial tool of the trade which requires little to no training, making them time and cost efficient. However, that same study said that 43% of FATAL falls have involved ladders. With statistics like that, shouldn't ladders be banned from job sites?

Experts in the field agree that ladders should be the last choice when trying to work at an elevated height. They have been the preferred method for decades but at such a high cost. Companies have been getting fancier with ladder design in hopes of making them safer by adjusting the base width and adding platforms at the top to address safety concerns, but then they aren’t as portable or easy to use. Researchers have determined that a key issue with ladder safety is fatigue. Standing and balancing on a step is tiring and leads to fatigue. If the ladder is being used for hours, workers end up taking shortcuts. Workers will reach a little further if the ladder is a little short they will just “make it work”. Luckily in the past 15-20 years, companies have started to focus on the tools and equipment that make it safer for workers vs. workers having to make a decision to be safe.

With the cost of incidents and damages rising, it’s become less acceptable and more costly to use a ladder on job sites. In the U.S. we have typically blamed the worker for a fall, but in most cases, companies provide workers with a poor tool for the expected job. Some countries have gone as far as making laws to sue or imprison supervisors for not doing a proper risk assessment and watching any worker who is working at elevated heights. The employer is held responsible. If everyone knew they were going to be held liable, perhaps companies would look closer at preventing the use of ladders and lowering the risk to their workers.

Not only did I learn a lot in this class I enjoyed it as well. The instructors were awesome! *****
Dawn M K.
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