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Morning Cup: Construction Machinery Is In Demand, Even If Workers Are Not

benderbending/Flickr; Krista Kjellman/ProPublicaOfficials in yesterday's House committee hearing on stimulus programs were short on specifics but ready with anecdotes when asked how many jobs had been created so far, reports the Los Angeles Times. Unemployment in the construction sector rose to nearly 2 million in March, about 21.1 percent compared with 13 percent a year ago. You can read the written testimony on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Web site.

China's stimulus is providing a quicker boost to American businesses than our stimulus here at home, the Wall Street Journal reports. Construction projects are fueling demand for heavy machinery and steel. Caterpillar CEO James Owens summed up China's breakneck pace of starting big projects: "It's something like nine months [in the U.S.] versus nine weeks" in China, he told the Journal.

Owens, who is a member of the Obama administration's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, told reporters after a panel discussion on the economy yesterday that the money for construction projects in the American stimulus isn't enough to offset the steep decline in private sector construction spending.

New York is getting more weatherization money than any other state, reports WNYC. With hot summers, cold winters and older-than-average housing stock, New York will get the single biggest funding boost -- almost $400 million.

Project of the day: The District of Columbia War Memorial will receive $7.3 million for restoration. The lodge house at the Battleground National Cemetery will also receive money. Both are listed by the D.C. Preservation League as among the most endangered historic sites in the city.

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