CLRC Issues Report on Labor Costs for Union Contractors

May 20, 2020

The Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) recently released its latest edition of the Union Labor Costs in Construction.  The report (previously called Trends and Outlook) includes general and detailed information about trends in collectively bargained compensation in the industry, including data analyses by region, by time, and by trade.  It can be a valuable resource when preparing for collective bargaining negotiations, particularly when used in conjunction with CLRC’s latest Settlements Report.

“In percentage terms, the average increase for the first year of settlements has slowly and steadily risen since 2010/11, from 1.7 percent in 2010 to 2.9 percent in 2019. The gradual trend is forecasted to extend to 3.1 percent by 2021,” CLRC states in the report.  CLRC found a similar trend when assessing first-year increases by dollar amount rather than by percentage, rising from $0.73 in 2011 to $1.67 in 2019.  CLRC projected the average increase to be $1.85 by 2021.

Note, however, that the projections do not account for the impact of COVID-19, as the report was prepared before the pandemic occurred.

The report includes a break-down of wage-and-fringe packages, noting that wages made up the majority of the total package nationwide at $34.32 (60%).  Among the fringe benefits, retirement was the largest category at $11.44 (20%), followed by health and welfare at $8.61 (15%).  A catch-all “Other” category, which includes vacation, apprenticeship, unallocated and all other payments, was valued at $2.76 (5%).

AGC members can access the full report, which contains much more information, in AGC’s online Labor & HR Topical Resources library under the main category “Collective Bargaining” and subcategory “Collective Bargaining Agreements Data.”  Be sure to log in as an AGC member to gain full access.

AGC is a founding member of CLRC and supports its mission.  Collective bargaining chapters are reminded to please send new contract data directly to CLRC promptly upon settlement of collective bargaining negotiations.

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