Average hourly earnings for residential building workers have been growing fast recently, driven by the tightening construction labor market.
Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate declined to 3.9% in December, the lowest rate since the pandemic. As the labor market remains tight, wages have increased rapidly, particularly in residential building sector. According to last Friday’s BLS report, average hourly earnings for residential building workers were $28.74 in November 2021, increasing 7% from $26.87 a year ago.
During the COVID-19 pandemic recession in March and April 2020, average hourly earnings for residential building workers rose about 2%, compared to a year ago. Since June 2020, average hourly earnings’ year-over-year growth rates for residential building workers have trended up and reached 8% in October 2021, the highest year-over-year gain since February 2019.