CLRC Issues Latest Reports on Collective Bargaining Agreement Cost Trends
“The annual rate of wage and fringe increases remained within its narrow range of recent years in 2006, although it has moved toward the upper end of the yearly amounts,” reports the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) in its recently-released Construction Labor Rate Trends and Outlook report.
Longer-term trends in increases have remained stable, according to the report, with an average increase in wage and fringe rates for the five-year period ending January 1, 2007, at 22.6 percent or close to four percent annually. Regional variations have been insignificant during the period. “While the upturn in rate of increase from 2005 to 2006 was small,” CLRC notes, “it marked a reversal of three years of declines in the rate of escalation.” For a copy of the full report, including information on 2007 bargaining activity and scheduled future increases, click here.
CLRC has also just released Cost of Terms and Conditions in Collective Bargaining Agreements, its annual report on the cost of labor contract terms and conditions other than wage and fringe benefit rates. The report advises that the aggregated cost of such items as a percentage of wages and fringe benefits continued to slowly decline in 2006 to 6.3 percent. However, because “the cost of many language items is dependent upon wage rates which have increased,” dollar costs rose in 2006 even though percentage costs declined. The contract items included in the measure are now valued at $2.74, up slightly from the prior year. The largest portion of those costs – $1.16 – is attributable to overtime payments. Other items with relatively large additional costs include show-up pay and time-paid-but-not-worked (e.g., coffee breaks, clean-up time).
CLRC found that costs varied only moderately by region but more significantly by craft. “Three crafts [Teamsters, Laborers, and Carpenters] averaged less than six percent, while one [Painters] averaged more than eight percent,” CLRC reports. “The all-crafts average is reduced because carpenters and laborers, the crafts with the greatest number of workers, have among the lowest prevalence of most of the items adding to contract costs.” For a copy of the full report, click here.
For CLRC’s report on 2006 wage and fringe benefit settlements, see Human Resource & Labor News, Issue 1-07. For AGC’s searchable database of collectively bargained wage and fringe benefit rates, click here.
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