Sources of OSHA's top 10 safety violations:
10) Machine guarding
9) General electrical requirements
6) Powered industrial trucks (forklifts, pallet jacks, etc.)
5) Electrical wiring methods
4) Respiratory protection
2) Hazard communication
1) Fall protection
Full article here. Now you know.
It's that time of month: the American Institute of Architects just released the most recent Architectural Billings Index (ABI) figures for January. The good news is that they're up from Decembers retreat, increasing from 48.5 to 50.4 in January. Any value greater than 50 means that architecture billings are increasing; architecture billings are a nine to 12 month leading indicator for construction activity. Here are the particulars:
Project inquiries declined to 58.5 from 59.2 in the previous month.
Multi-family continues to drive the construction industry. Based on my previous post, hopefully
Housing starts declined from 1,048,000 in December 2013 to 880,000 in January 2014. While multi-family starts are more volatile on an month-to-month basis (see figure below from Bill McBride at the Calculated Risk blog), both single and multi-family move together. This downturn in starts coincides with a sharp decline in house-building permits, which are experiencing their longest downturn since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
Construction activity is up nationwide, but it's mostly concentrated in the residential market. Here are the highlights:
Private residential construction tends to be a leading indicator while private nonresidential tends to lag the economy. If this continues to hold, then the current data may provide clues that 2014 will be a better year for the construction industry.
Public construction is off it's recent lows, but it has been on a downward trajectory for four years.
Multifamily housing has been particularly strong. According to CoreLogic:
"..the strongest multifamily markets have been driven by traditional fundamentals. Panelists at the [National Multifamily Council’s Apartment Strategies] conference singled out San Francisco, San Jose, Calif., Denver, Austin, Texas, Seattle, Wash., Dallas, Texas and Houston, Texas as the most currently robust multifamily markets. Combined, these markets have an employment base growing by 2.6 percent, a full percentage point faster than the U.S. rate – a very wide gap. Moreover, these markets also have strong demographic growth, driven in part by the job market, especially in technology and oil, which has attracted in-migration from other states and internationally. The conference consensus was that the current multifamily cycle will outlast prior average cycles given that the multifamily market under-built during the boom in the mid-2000s, but still had large declines during the bust.
For more analysis, check out this recent Calculated Risk post and associated graphs: