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☕️ Construction Jobs Rose in June but there's a Pesky Asterisk
Newsletter cover photo
"The Buildr mugs are in that barrel. I'm going in."
Hey there,
We hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend. It sure was nice to experience human interaction without the slight lag of Zoom, though real life definitely has worse filters (mostly just face masks and firework smoke here in LA).
Don't forget to jump onboard our contest—
Send your friends, family, neighbors, and/or colleagues
this link
to sign up for the Buildr Newsletter.
The reader(s) responsible for the most new subscribers by July 31, 2020 gets a
box of brand new Buildr coffee mugs
! For free!
Palm trees not included
On top of your newfound ability to drink coffee, you'll receive a specialized personal or company shout-out in this very newsletter (if you so desire).
If you're competing, make sure to email us to claim which new subscribers you're responsible for before 11:59pm PST, July 31. Cheating may or may not result in a 50-newsletter suspension.
Now onto the latest news and notes—

Construction

From
Contractor
, per an analysis of data by the AGC,
construction jobs rose by a net of 158,000
last month. This is 'a net' of good news, though digging into the foundation reveals a couple of termites—
Most of the employment gain was in the homebuilding sector. Other sectors suffered a net loss like heavy and civil engineering which lost around 10,000 jobs in June.
Infrastructure construction jobs will continue to see a decline the longer state and local governments postpone and cancel projects to make up for their massive budget deficits.
The AGC believes that the key factor in securing future construction employment will be for the US government to re-up funding for infrastructure—namely highways, bridges, waterways, and airports.
In spite of the infrastructure employment hit, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association reported that contract award values for state and local highway and bridge projects from March, April and May of 2020
rose to their highest levels
over the same 3 month period in five years.
Facebook
will be providing approximately 1,200 construction jobs over the next several years in DeKalb, Illinois with
the building of their upcoming data center
.
Mortenson was selected to be general contractor and Krusinski Construction Co. will assist in the design-build.
This 907,000 sq ft. facility will be the 12th Facebook data center in the US and cost $800 million. Your parents sharing zucchini noodle recipes and posting videos from 3 years ago of dogs acting like humans evidently takes up a ton of data that has to be stored somewhere.
Data center construction is predicted to be an $11 billion industry in the next four years.
REJournals
blogged about the
top 3 technologies
that help keep socially-distanced jobsites connected (we know you've heard of Zoom. Believe it or not, Zoom isn't one of them). There's an almost
20% reduction in a project's total life cycle cost
along with improvements in completion time, quality, and safety when contech is in play, so social-distancing is... doing us a favor?
Levelset
unveiled the 20 winners of the
2020 Excellence in Managing Payments
which is compiled from members of the ENR 400 with the highest payment experience scores. Each winner is the contractor equivalent of your thoughtful friend that Venmo's you out of the blue for a burrito you completely forgot you spotted them for, with a little extra thrown in "in case there were taxes or whatever."
Power specs on the new
Ford F-150
reveal that it will not only come in handy for lugging equipment around on a jobsite, its conversion of engine output into electrical power
will replace gasoline-powered generators on jobsites
.
Ford claims that their system can run a mobile theater setup complete with a projector, loudspeakers, and popcorn machine for up to 85 hours. That's all 67 available episodes of Alone with room to spare.
Construction Dive
posted a roundup of the
latest and greatest
in jobsite robot tech. You're out of your mind if you thought we'd mention a blog about robot tech and Spot the robot construction dog wasn't on the list.
Researchers at UCSD found that robots can move 40% faster
by placing a membrane filled with coffee grounds on their feet
. We can now feel confident knowing we'll be 40% more productive on days that we accidentally spill some Folger's grounds on our kitchen floor because we're groggy and it sticks to our bare feet (so, most days).
Construction Junkie
posted the
Top 12 Construction Podcasts of 2020
after voting concluded, in case you're looking for fresh ways to listen about construction while you're doing construction (but before reading your construction newsletter).
Podcasting,
the fastest growing and still least crowded
media channel, is
almost a $1 billion industry
and is predicted to be a $3.3 billion industry by 2025.

Non-Construction

Bored on the Fourth of July
: If you live in LA, this hypnotic
Blade Runner
recreation of
all the fireworks going off
across the city won't be a surprise to you. LA dogs are forming firework PTSD support groups as we speak.
COVID All-Stars
: Baseball workouts began and
31 players on 19 teams tested positive for COVID-19
, enough to make an all-COVID team with some minor league reserves if they wanted. MLB play resumes July 23, and we couldn't be more excited for sports people on TV doing sports.
The Social Networld
: Here are somewhat alarming infographics
detailing the world's average rate of social media use
. The study states that for the person who lives to 72 and starts using social media at 10 years old, they'll spend a grand total of 6 years and 8 months on social media based on 2020 average usages. The silver lining is that 6 years and 8 months worth of thumb swiping burns a hefty amount calories.
Pretty Pictures
: Here are
50 of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world
. We'll spare you the
Avatar
references since the crafty article writer already used one for the Tianzi mountains picture.
Do What You Musk
: With Tesla's market cap surpassing $210 billion, it edges Toyota to be
the most valuable auto company
on the planet.
Soulmates
: Uber acquired Postmates in an
all-stock $2.65 billion deal
, a hefty sum that we can't help but read into: did Uber have the munchies? This is like when you notice on your bank statement that you spent $54 on Postmates a few Saturdays ago and have no recollection what food it was.
Lululemonade
: Lululemon bought
fitness hardware startup Mirror for $500 million
because if you're buying $128 joggers, you might as well watch yourself workout in them.
Late Registration
: Kanye West declared
that he will run for President
in 2020.
A Different Tune
: A species of Canadian birds
have started singing a new song
, and more ramblings from your local babbling sidewalk conspiracy theorist—new at 11.
Showstopper
: The Ringer listed their
top 10 TV shows of 2020 (so far)
, assumedly forgetting to add Netflix's
Dark
so they can travel back in time and add it later.
Metrostink
: Berlin
forbids deodorant on their public transit
as a means of provoking face mask use.
Another day, another newsletter in the books.
If you have any hot links (URL or July 4th leftovers, we're not picky) feel free to send them along for next time.
See you next week!