8%

Percentage increase expected in the level of construction starts in 2011, totaling $445.5 billion, following the 2% decline predicted for 2010. “While the economy is still facing headwinds, the stage is being set for construction to see modest improvement in 2011 from this year’s very weak activity,” said Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs at McGraw-Hill Construction, at the 72nd annual Outlook 2011 Executive Conference recently held in Washington, D.C. “We’re turning the corner, slowly. 2011 will be the first year of renewed growth for overall construction activity, and 2010 becomes the final year of a very lengthy and unusual construction cycle.”

Source: “2011 Construction Outlook,” McGraw-Hill Construction

236

The number of metro areas (out of a total of 337) that construction employment fell in from September 2009 to September 2010. A total of 56 cities saw an increase while 45 saw no change.

Source: Associated General Contractors of America

-71,700

The number of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses that took place in the construction industry in 2009 as compared to 2008, marking a 22% decline and lowering the incidence rate by 0.4 cases to 4.3 cases per 100 workers.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

6.6%

Percentage increase in sales of newly built, single-family homes in September, which equaled a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000 units — the best pace since June. “The fact that new home sales are finally moving in the right direction — albeit slowly — is definitely good news following an exceptionally quiet summer at builders’ sales offices and model homes,” says Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “The road to recovery will be a long one, however, and a key hurdle that must be surpassed is the lack of available credit for new home construction so that builders can meet improving demand for new homes moving forward.”

Source: U.S. Commerce Department and National Association of Home Builders

3x

The amount OSHA has increased fines imposed for serious violations since summer 2010. In addition to tripling penalties, the organization has also introduced a “Severe Violator Enforcement” (SVE) program that calls for “a more intense examination” of work sites where previous safety violations have been found.

Source: National Electrical Contractors Association and OSHA