Residential Building Wage Growth Slowing

Average hourly earnings for residential building workers* continue to rise in February 2023 but at a slower pace. Wage growth has retreated below or close to 3%, from the highest rate of 2021. Labor market data indicate that business hiring is softening as the economy shows signs of weakening.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, average hourly earnings (AHE) for residential building workers were $29.5 in February 2023, increasing 3% from $28.67 a year ago. This was 14.4% higher than the manufacturing’s average hourly earnings of $25.78, 9.2% higher than transportation and warehousing’s, and 12.0% lower than mining and logging’s. Average hourly earnings for residential building workers grew at a relatively slower pace in the first two months of 2023, compared to the previous two years. The year-over-year growth rate reached 8% in October 2021, the highest rate since February 2019, but this rate is now decelerating. Indeed, the construction labor market with a peak in 2022 is now entering a cooling stage as the housing market weakens.


Note: * Data used in this blog relate to production and nonsupervisory workers in the residential building industry. This group accounts for approximately two-thirds of the total employment on residential building industry.


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