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The States With the Highest Construction Wages

Labor + Trade Relations

The States With the Highest Construction Wages

Average hourly earnings (AHE) are reaching new highs for skilled laborers in some states. Here are the locations where workers are benefiting the most…

May 10, 2022
Construction workers building onsite

Construction wages are on the rise across the U.S., and in some states, trade salaries are even outpacing and exceeding typical earnings in other industries. Average hourly earnings (AHE) are highest in northeastern states like Massachusetts and New Jersey, where the average construction worker makes $43.89 and $42.17 an hour, respectively. 

Southern states are seeing the most minimal wage increases, likely due to a less urgent need for skilled labor paired with variation in cost of living between northern and southern regions. Construction wages are likely to keep rising in states looking to recruit and retain more construction labor throughout 2022, NAHB Eye on Housing reports. 

While differences in regional hourly rates might reflect variation in the cost of living across states, the faster growing wages are more likely to point out to specific labor markets that are particularly tight. Year-over-year, all but one state reported rising hourly wages. The only exception was Alaska where hourly rates declined 3.4%. Eight states reported the increase in hourly rates of over 10% – Oregon (14.3%), Mississippi (12.6%), North Carolina (12.5%), Virginia (11.8%), Kentucky (11%), West Virginia (10.9%), South Carolina (10.6%), New Mexico (10.4%).

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