Construction Input Costs Rise 6.2 Percent Through August, Adding to Pressure From Labor Shortages and Outpacing Contractors' Bid Prices

September 12, 2018

Prices for goods and services used in construction climbed 6.2 percent over the past year, intensifying a cost squeeze on contractors coping with widespread labor shortages, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of new Labor Department data. Association officials noted that the cost increases come as many construction firms are already grappling with the impacts of labor shortages and the prospect of further tariffs on key materials.

“Price changes for construction materials in August were mixed, but contractors are likely to be hit with additional cost increases as new tariffs take hold, as well as significant labor cost escalation,” said the association’s chief economist, Ken Simonson. “Prices for goods and services used in construction rose over the past year at nearly double the rate that contractors have raised their bid prices to put up new buildings.”

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