The Associated General Contractors of America has released a recovery plan that uses tax cuts, policy revisions and infrastructure investments to jumpstart construction and increase employment.
Calling the construction industry “the hardest hit sector of the economy,” AGC said its plan was designed to reverse predictions that construction activity would continue to shrink through 2010, crippling broader economic growth.
The primary focus of the plan, “Build Now for the Future: A Blueprint for Economic Growth,” is on stimulating new private-sector construction activity, which accounts for 70 percent of the market, said Stephen Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer.
The plan calls for repealing the alternative minimum tax and increasing and extending a series of tax credits and cuts—including the net operating loss carry back and the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts—to boost investments in real estate development.
“The problems facing the construction industry aren’t just devastating construction workers; they are crippling our broader economy,” said Sandherr. “Simply put, you can’t fix our economy until you fix the construction industry.”
The new incentives, tax cuts, policy revisions and infrastructure investments outlined in the plan are needed to stem the dramatic nationwide decline in construction activity and employment, Sandherr said. He added that a new analysis of federal employment data conducted by the association found construction employment declined in 324 of 337 metropolitan areas between August 2008 and 2009.
Sandherr said the hardest hit area of the country was Reno-Sparks, Nev., which lost 35 percent of its construction workforce. Following were Duluth, Minn., and Wisconsin, each with a 33 percent decline; Tucson, Ariz., with a 31 percent decline; Wenatchee, Wash., with a 30 percent decline; and Redding, Calif., which saw a 28 percent decline in its construction workforce.
Only one community saw a double-digit increase: Columbus, Ind., at 14 percent. Anderson, Ind., recorded a 6 percent increase, followed by Tulsa, Okla.; Longview, Wash.; and Baton Rouge, La., each with a 3 percent increase.
For complete details of the AGC plan, visit www.agc.org.