Residential Building Wages Continue to Increase

The year-over-year (YOY) growth rate for residential building worker wages decelerated to 0.6% in June 2023. Over the past five months, wage growth accelerated moderately and reached 4.0% in November. Overall, average hourly earnings for residential building workers* increased at a relatively slower pace in the past year, compared to the peak rate of 8% in October 2021.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, average hourly earnings (AHE) for residential building workers was $30.71 per hour in November 2023, increasing 4.0% from $29.52 per hour a year ago. This was 14.1% higher than the manufacturing’s average hourly earnings of $26.91 per hour, 8.9% higher than transportation and warehousing ($28.19 per hour), and 12.0% lower than mining and logging ($34.91 per hour).

Wage growth has been below 4.0% in the past twelve months. November’s acceleration in wage growth reflects an imbalance in the construction labor market. Demand for construction labor remained strong. Indeed, the construction labor market moved in the opposite direction of the overall economy. As mentioned in the latest JOLTS blog, the number of open construction jobs rose to 459,000 in November, as the count of total job openings for the economy declined to 8.8 million.

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

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3 thoughts on “Residential Building Wages Continue to Increase

  1. Interesting read on the continued rise in residential building wages. As construction costs climb, securing favorable construction loans becomes crucial for builders to navigate the evolving landscape and ensure project viability. The intersection of labor trends and financing dynamics is pivotal for sustainable growth in the construction industry

  2. Not sure if the article refers to an entry level position like “helper” or a carpenter. Obviously, they are paid much differently and therefore the data in the article is a bit misleading. Any further detail much appreciated.

    1. Thanks for your comments.

      The data used in this article are released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The Current Employment Statistics-National (CES-N), conducted by the BLS, produces the national estimates of earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls by detailed industry. Residential building workers mentioned in this article not only include helpers, laborers, but also others engaged in new work, alterations, demolition, repair, maintenance, and similar activities, whether working at the site of construction or in shops or yards at jobs (such as precutting and preassembling) ordinarily performed by members of the residential construction trades.

      Also, please keep in mind that these data are national data, each county, metro area, and state may vary.

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