A new report from the Associated General Contractors of America shows that the salaries for the construction worker are on the rise. They are actually increasing at a higher rate than other fields. This is due to several crucial factors:
- Shrinking pool of qualified workers: Millennials seem to be drawn more to desk and office jobs. They don’t want to get their hands dirty.
- Baby boomers dying or retiring: This class of workers has always been very independent and hands-on. However, they are quickly reaching retirement age. There are still 77 million but thousands have retired or only work part-time.
- Lack of interest: Many people simply don’t want to lay flooring/sheetrock or deal with the somewhat dirty world of building and renovation. It’s a hard, dusty job with a higher accident rate than other professions.
What’s the World Like without Baby Boomers?
Baby boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964. Their sound work ethic and wide range of skill sets have always been the backbone of America’s economy. Many experts are predicting dire outcomes once all Baby Boomers have either died or retired. Without this group of highly skilled Americans, many industries could suffer. Whether it’s accounting, real estate, construction or marketing, older more experienced workers are often preferred.
They require less training and have a better work ethic than some groups. Any business will profit from workers who show up on time each day and work hard at their jobs. On the flip side of that, any business will suffer if the workers are only there to get a paycheck and don’t care about your company succeeding.
Increases in Construction Worker Paychecks
According to that same report from AGC, construction workers are getting paid more now. Across the board, numerous workers are seeing at least a 10 percent hike in hourly pay. Last year, the average construction worker was earning $30.73 per hour for skilled trades.
Of course, if a laborer is fresh off the boat and really has no defined skills, they can expect lower salaries. But as they increase in knowledge and experience, the hourly pay will rise as with all other industries. Some analysts have seen construction pay rise from 3-10 percent more than other jobs.
Because of the number of big construction jobs going on at any given time, new jobs are being added almost daily. LegoLand New York was just completed recently. This was a $500 million project. Amazon, Facebook and Apple are currently building new data centers around the country. These projects could take up to 2 years to complete and will require thousands of construction workers from all trades.
Residential construction is still going strong as well. Last year, 78,000 new construction worker jobs were added in this industry. Many builders are concentrating on large residential communities that offer a wide range of amenities from a club house and swimming pool to full-time security. Today’s homeowner simply wants more than just a house and 4 walls. They’re looking for things like gyms, parks, dog parks, and access to local restaurants.