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Collective Bargaining in 2016 Yields Average First-Year Increase of 2.6%

March 15, 2017

Construction-industry collective bargaining negotiations completed during 2016 resulted in an average first-year increase in wages and benefits of $1.18 per hour or 2.6 percent, according to the annual year-end Settlements Report issued by the AGC-supported Construction Labor Research Council.  For newly negotiated multi-year contracts, the average negotiated second-year increase was $1.59 or 2.8 percent, and the average third-year increase was $1.61 or 2.9 percent. 

For all three contract years, the average increases negotiated in 2016 were higher than those negotiated in 2015 and in 2014, in terms of both dollar amounts and percentages.  CLRC has observed a “gradual, steady upward trend” in first-year increases negotiated since 2011. However, CLRC further observed, “the most common settlement in 2016 fell in the 2.1-2.5 percent range, lower than the results for both 2014 and 2015.”

Regionally, the areas reporting the lowest average first-year increase in 2016 on a percentage basis were the New England Region (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) and the East North Central Region at 2.4 percent each, and on a dollar-amount basis was the Southeast Region (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA) at $0.89.  The South Central Region (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX)  reported the highest average first-year increase on a percentage basis at 3.0 percent, and the Southwest Pacific Region (AZ, CA, HI, NV) reported the highest on a dollar-amount basis at $1.57.

By craft, the lowest average first-year increase was negotiated with the Insulators at 1.8 percent or $0.82.  On a dollar-amount basis, the highest average was negotiated with the Boilermakers at $1.71.  On a percentage basis, four crafts shared the highest average of 2.9 percent:  the Carpenters, Cement Mason, Electricians, and Operating Engineers.

The full report, along with other CLRC reports, is available in AGC’s online Labor & HR Topical Resources library at under the main category “Collective Bargaining” and subcategory “Collective Bargaining Agreements Data.”  (You must be logged in as an AGC member.)  The report contains additional data and charts, as well as information about custom research and CLRC’s consulting services.  Collective bargaining chapters are reminded to please send settlements contract data directly to CLRC promptly upon settlement of negotiations.

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