Human Resource & Labor News
www.agc.orgDecember 1, 2009 / Issue No. 5-09
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On the Inside
Federal Contracting
Davis-Bacon Webinar Series Begins This Week: Register Today!
Drive Against Distraction Program Calls on Contractors
EEO
EEOC Mandates Use of Revised Poster, Effective November 21, 2009
Pandemic Flu Prompts EEOC to Issue Guidance for Employers on ADA
Immigration
AGC Represented at DHS Symposium Where ICE Announces New E-Verify Campaign & Additional I-9 Audits
DHS Rescinds No-Match Rule
Compensation & Leave
Employers Must Update FMLA Policies and Procedures Again
2009 Open-Shop Craft Wage Increases Expected to be Lowest in Over 15 Years
Labor Relations
DOL Cancels Manchester Job Corps Center Project Solicitation Amid PLA Concerns Raised by AGC
AGC Holds Northwest Regional Meeting with Carpenters and Operating Engineers
AGC Events
HR and Training & Development Conference Helps Industry
2009 Open-Shop Craft Wage Increases Expected to be Lowest in Over 15 Years
 

Open-shop contractors planning to provide raises to skilled craft workers in 2009 expect to raise wages by an average of 2.88 percent, according to the latest Merit Shop Craft Survey report issued by PAS, Inc.  When data from contractors not planning raises are included, the overall anticipated increase averages only 1.96 percent.  This compares to actual increases of 4.1 percent (excluding zero-increases) and 3.7 percent (including zero-increases) in 2008, and represents the lowest average increases seen in over 15 years.  Based on historical experience and other factors, however, PAS projects that increases will actually end up in the range of 2.3-2.8 percent nationally, and even higher in a few high-demand areas.  Although the demand for skilled trades has been limited in most areas of the country so far this year, high demand continues in pockets of the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions, PAS found.

PAS found the following average anticipated increases in benchmark locations:

State

Zero-Increases Excluded

Zero-Increases Included

Alabama

  3.0%

  2.6%

Arkansas

2.38

1.95

Georgia

2.8

2.2

Kansas

2.9

2.3

Kentucky

3.06

1.13

Louisiana

3.0

2.4

Massachusetts

3.58

1.16

Minnesota

3.12

0.93

Oregon

3.0

2.2

PAS further reports the following hourly wage rates for all crafts combined and for certain benchmark positions:

Position

2009

2008

1999

All Crafts

$19.77

$19.61

$14.61

Carpenters

19.67

 19.60

15.35

General Laborers

14.43

14.11

10.90

Electricians

23.31

19.60

16.73

Pipefitters

23.14

23.30

16.23

Plumbers

22.24

21.70

16.73

"The buying power of construction workers has risen continuously since 1990," observes PAS in the September 2009 issue of its Contractor Compensation Quarterly.  While at times last year it seemed that inflation would seriously impact the buying power of the dollar and end the 17-year rise in craft workers' standard of living, that changed by year end, as the CPI flattened out from 5.5 percent in June 2008 to 0.1 percent by year end for an annualized rate.  "Though the streak continues, pay close attention to our industry economists and any predications they may make on future prices," cautioned PAS.  The drop in energy costs from 2008 to 2009 accounts for the virtually flat or declining CPI, says PAS.  When energy costs are eliminated from the equation, the CPI continues to rise.

The full survey report - which covers fringe benefit and other information, and which reports data broken down data by type of construction, geographic location, company size, and other characteristics - is available for purchase from PAS.  AGC members that participated in the survey receive a substantial discount on the reports.  For more information on PAS reports, visit www.pas1.com or call (734) 429-1199.
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