Average US construction pay rate jumps to $35.64 an hour

Average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in US construction has jumped by 4.6% over the year to reach $35.64 an hour.

Engineers and Foreman are calculating workers' expenses and overtime to pay workers compensation and overtime each month. Foreman holds cash in hand to pay workers as compensation Image: thatinchan via AdobeStock - stock.adobe.com

That’s according to figures from Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), which found that construction companies in June provided a wage “premium” of nearly 19% compared to the average earnings for all private-sector production employees.

The news came as the sector added 27,000 jobs in June and its average unemployment rate fell to 3.6%.

The AGC said construction companies were boosting pay and taking other steps to recruit workers amid tight labour conditions.

Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said, “Construction employment strengthened in June, with all segments adding workers despite recent weakness in demand for residential and commercial buildings.

“Finding enough qualified workers remains a greater challenge for most firms than finding projects to work on.”

The sector has added 235,000 jobs during the past twelve months, an increase of 2.9%. Non-residential construction firms—non-residential building and specialty trade contractors along with heavy and civil engineering construction firms—added 21,200 employees in June. Meanwhile, employment at residential building and specialty trade contractors only grew by 5,500 or 0.2%.

Jeffrey D. Shoaf, the association’s chief executive officer called for more investment in training for construction workers. He said, “Boosting investments in programs that expose more students to high-paying careers in construction will put more workers on a path to middle class prosperity.

“Until public officials boost those investments, however, the lack of workers will undermine construction activity and constrain employment growth.”

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