According to the latest Contractor Compensation Quarterly (CCQ) published by PAS, Inc., Open Shop contractors anticipate skilled craft hourly wage increases of 2.64% in 2020 (2.91% excluding zeros). Actual increases for 2019 were 3.25% (including zeros) and 3.26% (excluding zeros). These increases are across the board for all craft, contractor types, sizes, and regions of the country. WorldatWork reports 2020 actual construction increases at 3.1% for Non-exempt Hourly Non-union positions. Historically, our projected numbers are slightly lower than the actual year end figure, but in this year of COVID-19, that most likely won’t be the case.
The chart below shows how open shop craft wage increases have fluctuated from 2007 to 2019 (these numbers do not include 0% increases).
PAS recently completed its September 2020 Pay Practices Update Survey which examined pay trends for the remainder of 2020 and the first forecast of 2021 increases for professional, middle management, and executive positions. As might be expected, 2020 ended up being a time of uncertainty, most notably with roughly 1 in 5 contractors freezing pay. However, 2021 projected increases were more optimistic with 88% of contractors anticipating average increases of about 3.3%. Of course, that’s not the entire story. PAS was surprised by the wide variances in contractor responses by revenue size, contractor type, construction sector, and region of the country. Average projections ranged from 2.3% to 4.6% depending on the contractor’s demographic profile. 2021 is going to be an interesting year!
Jeff Robinson, president of PAS, Inc., is a regular sponsor and presenter at AGC's Construction HR and Training Professionals Conference.