According to the latest Contractor Compensation Quarterly (CCQ) published by PAS, Inc., contractors are projecting 2021 construction staff wages to increase an average of 3.23%, as reported by over 300 companies in the 38th edition of the Construction / Construction Management Staff Salary Survey. For pay increase comparison, according to the WorldatWork, across all industries exempt professionals saw 2020 actual increases of 2.9% and they are projecting 2021 increases of 2.9%. For construction WorldatWork reported a 3.4% increase in 2020 and are projecting 3.3% for 2021.
Contractors only have so many compensation dollars to spend and PAS monitored the changes in both base pay and bonus (total direct compensation) to see how contractors are spreading their money around. PAS advises that contractors must consider the value of their employees on the open market for both base and variable pay as this “market value’ changes as a result of wage adjustments as well as supply and demand for experienced construction professionals. PAS points out that this is beginning to expose a high degree of wage comparison which occurs when new hires command higher wages than current employees. A decline in construction activity followed by high demand is quite often the cause. When this occurs, the company must overcome “sticker shock” and match the marketplace which most likely means a general increase to bring wages up to changed market conditions.
Jeff Robinson, president of PAS, Inc., is a regular sponsor and presenter at AGC's Construction HR and Training Professionals Conference.