A final regulation implementing a February 2009 executive order encouraging project labor agreements on big federal construction jobs drew criticism and praise. The Associated Builders and Contractors says the rule exceeds statutory authority, but the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Dept. supports the regulation. The rule, published on April 13, doesn’t mandate PLAs but encourages agencies to consider them on projects of $25 million or more.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.