High pay attracts workers, but construction’s employment gap widens

Rising hourly wages brought more workers to construction in May, but the industry still posted a record number of job openings to start the month, according to analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. The increase in openings represented the largest total since recording of it began in 2000, according to AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. For hourly workers in the trades, pay rose in May by 6.3% year over year, the highest increase since December 1982, according to Simonson. As those wages increased though, earnings in the overall private sector rose 6.5%. The slightly higher increase for all workers only steepens the uphill battle contractors must climb to find workers. Since construction employers cannot offer the flexible hours or remote work other industries have adopted, contractors will have to pay a higher premium, Simonson said, to attract workers to their jobs that often entail working outdoors doing physically demanding tasks in various weather conditions.


Share This Article: