Contractors in the construction industry feel good about where things are headed, though they remain wary of “red tape,” according to one widespread survey.

The Associated General Contractors of America recently released its 2015 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook, based on a survey of more than 900 firms across the United States.

According to the report, “large numbers of contractors are worried that newly enacted federal regulations will negatively impact their business operations.”

Among the key concerns is the current structure of proposed new silica exposure regulations. Thirty-five percent of respondents flagged that as a potential problem.

Thirty-seven percent of contractors expect negative effects from new EPA regulations regarding wetlands, and 30 percent of respondents cited “efforts to restrict truck drivers’ hours of service without considering the impact on construction” as an issue.

“Instead of pushing new regulations and slashing construction budgets, federal officials should be working to solve key problems,” reads the outlook.

The labor shortage, particularly in the craft worker segment, is a growing issue for the construction industry, and 76 percent of respondents urge Congress to consider it when passing legislation.

Additionally, 60 percent of firms in the survey want the federal tax code reformed, and 58 percent “want Congress to renew tax deductions and bonus depreciation for equipment.”

Fifty-nine percent of respondents also want to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act. The outlook reveals 81 percent of firms expect an increase in the cost of providing health care insurance for their employees this year, though 99 percent of firms say they’ll continue health care coverage for their employees in 2015.



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