Best of MetalMiner: Innovation, Scarce Labor Drives Construction Markets

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As we celebrate Labor Day in the US, the domestic construction industry continues to be plagued by a big lack of it. Housing construction through July reached its highest level since 1989, according to Commerce Department data released last week, yet the lack of skilled labor continues to threaten the recovery in housing and other sectors of the construction market.

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Until the Highway Trust Fund was extended in early August it looked very much like trillions of dollars in road, bridge and other government projects could be shut down, however our construction MMI has remained merely steady so far this year as stagnant steel prices and copper prices are mitigating contractors’ increased costs for exterior aluminum panels and other aluminum products. Construction lending has also not bounced back yet, leaving a market with flat-to-down copper and steel costs, a worsening skilled labor shortage and still only limited adoption of 3D design and integrated delivery. Happy Labor Day.

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