Infrastructure act likely to spur higher construction wages

Supply for skilled construction workers has not met demand for decades, and now, that demand is going to increase. Among other issues, this will mean that contractors will have to pay their onsite workers more, experts told Construction Dive. The supply and demand issue will be exacerbated by the influx of infrastructure projects, Joe Natarelli, national leader of Marcum’s Construction Services practice, told Construction Dive, and he predicts wages will go up “significantly.” With the infrastructure spending package, those skilled workers will only become more valuable. “Contractors need to be cognizant of the fact that the new bill requires the vast majority of construction projects to pay prevailing wages based on an average of the pay scale for local construction work,” Meisels said. The bill also includes stringent provisions that require all federal infrastructure projects to use construction materials largely manufactured in the U.S., which will increase the number of other types of jobs, and therefore, wages, Meisels said.

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