Labor Shortages are Leading to Increased Pay, Bonuses for Construction Workers


As the demand for construction work has steadily grown, so too has the demand for skilled laborers to complete the work.  After years of industry talk about needing to fill the gap, it’s become apparent that wage increases will be a way to drive more interest to those looking for work.

According to a report conducted by Zillow Research, year over year wage increases in the construction sector have far outpaced the national average for the private sector. All construction industry workers’ wages have increased 3.8% year over year versus the national average of 2.9%. Residential construction workers, specifically, have seen an even larger increase with 5% wage growth year over year.

The rapid wage growth began in the spring/summer of 2017.  Prior to that wage growth in the industry was below the national private sector average. Residential construction worker wages have reached late-2006 levels, which were at their highest before the recession hit.

Besides wage increases, the construction industry is also trying other tactics to attract men and women to join their construction crews.  According to ENR, signing bonuses, which are typically reserved for higher level employees, are being extended more frequently to experienced craftworkers.

Employers like the idea of one-time bonuses, which range between a few hundred dollars to $1,500, because they don’t affect the base pay, the article states.  Many companies are placing employment length requirements, typically 60 to 90 days, before the bonus can be collected.

Some have worried that offering the one-time bonus does not incentivize the workers to stay with the company, however, which could lead to workers continually leaving companies to earn additional bonuses. Other companies have started to award referral bonuses to their current employees to help recruit new team members.

If you’re interested in learning more about construction wages, you can check out our series of Average Hourly Wages of Construction Workers by Trade and State here or check out our article on The 10 Highest Paid Construction Jobs That Only Require High School Diploma.

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Full story: Construction Worker Wages Are Growing Incredibly Fast | Zillow Research

Full story: In-Demand Construction Craft Workers Gain Signing Bonuses | ENR