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Sneak Peek: Construction wages rising again

Sneak Peek: Construction wages rising again

After several years of very small gains, construction wages are rising steadily


By James Haughey, director of research and analytics, Reed Construction Data | August 11, 2010

Construction hourly wages are up at a 4.6% annual pace in the last six months and will probably accelerate a little more in the next few months. Also worth noting: annual wage gains peaked at 4.3% at the peak of the last building cycle in early 2000.

Benefits costs are actually rising more slowly than a few ago. The recent pickup in wages is largely due to shortages of skilled workers with a contribution from inflation catch up wage demands.  Consumer Price Index inflation is 1.25% higher in the last two years now than it was in 2000.

Year-to-year % change in average hourly earnings

Year Quarter All NR
2001 Construction General Contractors
   1 4.1 3.1
 2 4 1.1
 3 3.7 0.6
   4 3.3 1.2
2002  1 2.9 2.8
 2 2.6 4.1
 3 2.9 4.5
 4 3.1 4.1
2003  1 3.2 3.7
 2 3 4.7
 3 2.6 3.3
 4 2 2.8
2004  1 1.8 2.3
 2 2 0.6
 3 2.2 1.5
 4 2.5 2.4
2005  1 2.6 2.1
 2 2.6 2.5
 3 2.7 1.8
 4 3 0.7
2006  1 3.5 1.7
 2 3.9 2.5
 3 4 3.8
 4 4.1 5
2007  1 4 5.9
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