Average hourly earnings for residential building workers have been growing fast recently, driven by the tightening construction labor market.
Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate declined to 3.9% in December, the lowest rate since the pandemic. According to the BLS report, average hourly earnings for residential building workers were $28.74 in November 2021 — an increase of 7% from $26.87 a year ago.
During the COVID-19 pandemic recession in March and April 2020, average hourly earnings for residential building workers rose about 2% compared to the prior year. Since June 2020, average hourly earnings' year-over-year growth rates for residential building workers have trended higher. In October 2021, the growth rate reached 8% — the highest year-over-year gain since February 2019.
Jing Fu, NAHB director of forecasting and analysis, provides more in this Eye on Housing post.