Group Argues Against New Federal Employment Rules

August 7, 2013

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) met with the Obama administration to voice its opposition to new regulations regarding the employment of veterans and people with disabilities.

Under the new regulations, federal contractors would be required to follow hiring quotas, requiring the employment of a minimum number of disabled and veteran construction workers.

AGC cited federal data, which indicates the annual average unemployment rate for all veterans in 2012 was 7 percent. This is lower than the 7.9 percent rate for nonveterans. A higher share of employed veterans than nonveterans work in the construction industry, according to the data. The association also cited data from Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicating that people with disabilities are as likely to be employed by construction firms as people without disabilities.

“As the data makes clear, veterans and the disabled are already extremely well represented in the construction industry,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the AGC’s CEO, following a meeting today with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. “These new rules offer a very costly fix for a problem that, according to the government’s own data, doesn’t appear to exist.”