Construction companies nationwide are reporting that the stimulus bill passed in February is enabling them to hire new workers, according to a reported issued by the Associated General Contractors.
“Early reports indicate that the infrastructure piece of stimulus is beginning to do exactly what was intended, put construction workers back on the job,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for AGC. “As [the most recent] employment report shows, however, construction is still one of the hardest-hit industries in terms of job losses.”
Simonson said a growing number of member companies are reporting the addition of new jobs or rehiring laid-off employees. For example, Loch Sand and Construction Co. in Missouri recently rehired 15 workers it laid off last year after receiving a stimulus-funded interstate reconstruction contract. Adolfson & Peterson Construction in Minnesota has begun hiring new workers after winning a contract to build a new laboratory in northern Minnesota with stimulus funding provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Also, Pike Construction in New Hampshire has hired 30 new employees to help it complete newly awarded road construction projects funded by the stimulus. He added that other companies, such as Pyramid Electrical Contractors in Illinois have cancelled layoffs and plan to hire new employees because of stimulus-funded work. Simonson added that a number of contractors, such as Slack and Co. in Texas, were cancelling planned layoffs because of the stimulus-funded work. Simonson said that an estimated 85 percent of construction companies said they would cancel layoffs or add new employees with the stimulus, keeping a bad business environment from getting worse for many firms.