CLRC Report Shows Rate of Union Construction Workers' Pay Increases Continues to Grow

In its latest Settlements Report, the AGC-supported Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) advises that construction-industry collective bargaining agreements settled from January through September of 2022 provide an average increase in wages and benefits of 3.8 percent in the first contract year. First-year increases negotiated during the period grew by 1.0 percent since 2020, which CLRC notes is a steep rate of growth. The last time first-year increases grew by 1.0 percent, it took seven years – from 2012 to 2019 – CLRC reports. Measured by dollar amount rather than percentage, CLRC found that the average first-year increase negotiated year-to-date was $2.33 – a $0.53 jump from 2021 and $0.70 from 2020. 

CLRC further notes that the mode of first-year increases has also shifted higher. The mode shifted from 2.6-3.0 percent in 2021 to a whole percentage point higher in the present period. So far in 2022, 64 percent of first-year increases in new settlements were for 3.6 percent or more, whereas last year only 22 percent fell in that range. The shift is also found when looking by dollar amount. Forty percent of first-year increases settled so far this year were for $2.51 or higher, as compared to just eight percent last year. However, CLRC says, many new settlements – 60 percent – were still below $2.51, with $2.01-2.25 being the second most common range.

AGC members can access the full report in the Labor & HR Topical Resources area of AGC’s website under the main category “Collective Bargaining” and subcategory “Collective Bargaining Agreement Data.” (Be sure to first login as an AGC member in the top left corner of the webpage.) It covers much  more information, including data by region and craft. Note that the first half of the report provides an analysis of data from newly settled agreements as discussed above, while the second section also covers data from previously negotiated agreements that are currently in effect and increases planned for subsequent contract years.

The report is the second of three Settlements Reports planned for publication based 2022 data. CLRC expects to publish the third one in January 2023.

Collective bargaining chapters are reminded to please send new contract data directly to CLRC promptly upon settlement of collective bargaining negotiations. Chapters and members are also reminded that CLRC offers consulting and custom research services on local matters at a discount to AGC affiliates. This includes market share analysis, union/nonunion wage and fringe benefit comparisons, collective bargaining agreement language cost analysis, workforce/labor analysist and projections, and more. See the article here about a new custom study offering CLRC launched earlier this year.

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