Thursday, May 2, 2024
HomeMacroeconomicsStates with Highest and Fastest Rising Construction Wages, 2024

States with Highest and Fastest Rising Construction Wages, 2024

Reflecting persistent long-term labor challenges, wages in construction continue to rise, often outpacing and exceeding typical earnings in other industries. Not seasonally adjusted (NSA) average hourly earnings (AHE) in construction increased 5% since a year ago and approached the $38 mark in March 2024, according to the latest Current Employment Statistics (CES) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In Massachusetts, AHE in construction approached $49 (NSA) per hour in February, and ten additional states reported hourly rates exceeding $41. In four states, construction wage growth surpassed 8% (NSA), as of February, the latest month for which the state-level AHE data are available.

Average hourly earnings (AHE) in construction vary greatly across 43 states that report these data.
Some of the highest AHE are recorded by states in Northeast and along the Pacific coast. As of February 2024, nine states report average earnings (NSA) exceeding $43 per hour, including: Massachusetts – $48.9, Washington – $47.3, New Jersey – $45.6, Alaska – $45.0, Illinois – $44.9, New York – $44.9, Rhode Island – $44.7, California – $44.1, and Oregon – $43. At the same time, the US average hourly earnings in construction are $37.7 (NSA).

At the other end of the spectrum are mostly Southern states, with the vast majority reporting non-seasonally adjusted average hourly earnings in construction under $34. The bottom ten states, with the AHE at or below $32 per hour, include seven states in the South. The lowest hourly wages are in neighboring Arkansas ($28.9) and Mississippi ($28), followed by West Virginia ($30.8), South Carolina ($31.3), Florida ($31.4), Alabama ($31.5), New Mexico ($31.6), and Kentucky ($31.7). Maine and Oklahoma, with the AHE at $32 per hour, conclude the bottom ten list.

While differences in regional hourly rates reflect variation in the cost of living across states, among other things, the faster growing wages are more likely to indicate specific labor markets that are particularly tight. Year-over-year, all states but Wyoming (where wages grew 11% in a prior year but remained stable at the start of 2024) reported rising not seasonally adjusted hourly wages in February 2024. Four states reported an annual increase in hourly rates between 8% and 9% – Idaho, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Utah – by far outpacing the national average growth of construction wages of 5% (NSA).  

As highlighted in the heat map below, AHE grew faster in the southern states, where hourly earnings tend to be lower. The correlation analysis confirms that, since a year ago, hourly earnings in states with lower AHE were more likely to grow faster.

Discover more from Eye On Housing

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular

Recent Comments