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Average industry wage exceeds $30 for first time this September

Average hourly wages in the construction exceeded $30 an hour for the first time ever this September, a prominent trades group reported on Friday.

The AGC reported that average hourly wages in the industry hit $30.18 in September, an amount that was 3.1 percent higher than the comparable figure from a year earlier. The industry’s average hourly wages are now 10.7 percent higher than those for all non-farm private-sector jobs.

Also on Friday, the AGC reported that the U.S. construction industry gained 315,000 jobs from September 2017 to September this year, hitting a 10-year high. Drawing on federal data, the AGC reported that 7,286,000 people were employed in the industry last month, the largest number seen since May 2008.

Although the news will be welcomed by many, AGC officials warned that the industry is still being put at risk by a protracted labor shortage.

“The construction industry added workers and increased pay in the past year at rates higher than the overall economy,” said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist. “However, the pool of unemployed workers with construction experience has nearly evaporated, pushing up contractors’ costs and adding to the project completion times.”

Noting one more sign that the labor shortage isn’t likely to go away anytime soon, the AGC reported that the unemployment rate in the construction industry was at 4.1 percent in September. That was down from the 4.7 percent rate seen in the same month last year. The construction unemployment rate is calculated by taken into account people who are out of work and were last employed in the industry.

About Dan Shaw, dan.shaw@dailyreporter.com

Dan Shaw is the associate editor at The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at dan.shaw@dailyreporter.com or at 414-225-1807.

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