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Kirkland Joins Structural Group

Structural Group – a $420 million Baltimore-based specialty-contracting firm that delivers services, systems and technologies that build, repair, protect, strengthen and reinforce concrete, steel, masonry, timber and soils –– announced that industry veteran Jim Kirkland has joined the company as the vice president of commercial sales.

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Construction Adds 33,000 Jobs Between January and February

The construction industry added 33,000 jobs in February even as the industry’s unemployment rate was 21.8 percent, more than twice the national average, according to an analysis of new federal employment data released last week by the Associated General Contractors of America. As welcome as the new figures are, association officials cautioned that it was too early to tell whether the industry is improving or simply benefiting from the more favorable weather in February compared to the previous month.

Read more: Construction Adds 33,000 Jobs Between January and February

Construction Starts Down; Highway Construction Starts Jump

The value of new construction starts retreated 6 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $423.4 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The decline came as the result of a pullback for nonresidential building after a strong December, combined with a loss of momentum for residential building.

At the same time, the nonbuilding construction sector showed further growth in January on top of its elevated December pace, aided by several large public works projects. Nonbuilding construction advanced 2 percent to $166.3 billion (annual rate). Highway and bridge construction soared 42 percent.

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EPA on Course to Lower Particulate Air Standards

According to the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA), the EPA appears poised to lower the current PM10 NAAQS to between 65-75µg/m³ – twice as stringent as the current standard of 150 µg/m³. These new limits could force aggregates operators to limit production as one of the only means to demonstrate compliance.

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Construction Spending Nears Decade-Long Low

Construction spending slumped 0.7 percent from $798 billion in December to $792 billion in January, the second lowest seasonally adjusted annual rate since July 2000, the Associated General Contractors of America noted in an analysis of new Census Bureau data.

Association officials noted that nearly every private nonresidential category plunged, offsetting pickups in some residential and public nonresidential segments. They added that since January 2010, construction spending has declined by 5.9 percent.

Read more: Construction Spending Nears Decade-Long Low