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America's Rural Roads In Critical Need of Repair

6 RuralRoads 150America’s rural transportation system is in need of repairs and modernization to support economic growth in the nation’s Heartland, which is a critical source of energy, food and fiber and home to an aging and increasingly diverse population that is heavily reliant on the quality of its transportation system. A new report released by The Road Information program (TRIP) evaluates the safety and condition of the nation’s rural roads and bridges and finds that the nation’s rural transportation system is in need of improvements to address deficient roads and bridges, high crash rates, and inadequate connectivity and capacity.

 

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Construction Industry Unemployment at Nine-Year Low

Construction firms added 45,000 jobs in April and 280,000 over 12 months, as the sector's unemployment rate fell to a nine-year April low of 7.5 percent, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that even as the industry continues to expand, growth has been erratic and inconsistent.

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MDU Resources Reports First Quarter Earnings

MDU Resources Group Inc. reported first quarter consolidated adjusted earnings of $22.8 million, or 12 cents per share, compared to $35.6 million, or 19 cents per share for the first quarter of 2014. On a GAAP basis the company reported a loss of $306.1 million, or $1.57 per share, compared to first quarter 2014 earnings of $56.5 million, or 30 cents per share. GAAP results reflect a $315.3 million after-tax noncash write-down of oil and natural gas properties pertaining to a quarterly ceiling test.

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New Construction Starts in April Advance 10 Percent

The value of new construction starts in April increased 10 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $698.7 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The nonresidential building sector came in particularly strong, lifted by the inclusion of two massive projects as April starts – an $8.1 billion petrochemical plant in Louisiana and a $1.2 billion office/retail high-rise in New York.

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