Inflation Surge Contributes to Collective Bargaining Settlements Increases in 2023

The Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) reports that the first year of new collective bargaining settlements reached in 2023 for union craft workers in the construction industry had an average wage-and-benefits increase of 4.7 percent or $2.98. The CLRC notes the surge in inflation in 2021 and 2022 have led to sharp increases but highlight that there is a lag effect on union craft increase because of the vast majority of negotiated union contracts are multiyear and many have yet to fully realize the recent surges in inflation. The CLRC projects first-year increases to level off in 2024/2025.

Regionally, increases in 2023 were higher than in 2022 for every region except New England, where they were unchanged. All but three crafts saw an average of at least 4.0 percent in 2023 and all averaged more in 2023 than in 2022.

The report also details the total package increases for all contract years. In 2023, the average increase was 3.6 percent. The CLRC projects increases to reach 4.6 percent by 2025.

The full report is accessible to AGC members and chapter staff from AGC’s online Labor & HR Topical Resources library under the main category “Collective Bargaining” and subcategory “Collective Bargaining Agreements Data.”  You must be logged in as an AGC member to access the material.

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 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.

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