Making Labor Costs More Predictable

By on February 12, 2018

From Burns & McDonnell’s BenchMark The labor shortage in the construction industry is real — and so is its impact on construction budgets.

Seventy percent of contractors responding to the 2017 Associated General Contractors’ Workforce Survey said they had difficulty filling some hourly craft positions. These shortages are reflected in construction hourly wages, which rose 3.7 percent in 2017, according to Engineering News-Record, which tracks average wages across 20 U.S. cities.

But on any given construction project, these national numbers can mean little.

“You have to look closer at the availability, productivity and cost of skilled trade workers where the project is located,” explains Nels Anderson, manager of oil, gas and chemical estimating at Burns & McDonnell. “Vetting the right information before putting together a cost estimate can greatly improve both bid accuracy and labor cost predictability.”

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