HARRISBURG, Pa., May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In overwhelming numbers, Pennsylvania highway contractors are hiring blue-collar workers and will continue to add to those numbers over the next several years, according to a survey by Associated Pennsylvania Constructors.
The APC survey shows that prior to the passage of Act 89 (the comprehensive transportation funding bill), the industry was experiencing a substantial decline:
- 60 percent of highway construction employers had reduced their blue-collar workforce.
- 63 percent of highway contractors had reduced the number of hours worked by those blue-collar employees who did not lose their jobs.
- 75 percent of blue-collar wages were either reduced or stayed the same.
However, as a result of the passage of the transportation act:
- During the next three years, 84 percent of construction employers expect to hire more blue-collar workers.
- During the next three years, 90 percent of construction employers will increase blue-collar wages.
- 70 percent of construction employers plan capital investments in equipment, plants, machinery, etc., driving even more private sector jobs.
- 75 percent of highway construction blue-collar workers earn between $50,000 and $60,000 per year.
"A vital industry employing tens of thousands of residents of the Commonwealth will see increases in employment and wages for workers rather than salary cuts and layoffs," said Robert Latham, APC executive vice president. "These are family-sustaining jobs within the construction industry itself, and an even greater number of jobs will be created in other sectors of the economy as well."
Elected officials who supported Act 89 can point to this legislation as a clear victory for working families in the Commonwealth. Act 89 immediately saved 12,000 jobs, and studies show that when fully implemented, Act 89 will create up to 50,000 jobs, nearly 60 percent of which will be in industries other than highway construction.
Associated Pennsylvania Constructors is a trade association of more than 400 members that include contractors, consulting engineers, material suppliers, manufacturers and others with an interest in Pennsylvania's road and bridge construction industry. For more information, visit www.paconstructors.org.
SOURCE Associated Pennsylvania Constructors