Atlanta ranks second among peer Southeast cities for highest average hourly construction wages amid widespread labor shortage

graph of Southeast U.S. cities construction pipelines and average hourly construction labor wages with Atlanta leading with the most square feet under construction since 2012
  • At the beginning of the year, the number of construction job vacancies jumped 120,000 in the U.S., as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor. In contrast, hiring dropped by 18,000, suggesting a lack of available skilled workers. Consequently, some construction projects are experiencing delays, due in part to the workforce shortage.
  • Since the pandemic, the wage disparity across all Southeast markets has diminished, signaling competitive labor conditions among Southeast metros. This suggests that the quantity of work is becoming less influential in determining pay, with competition for workers becoming a more critical factor.
  • As demand remains strong in Atlanta, so does the development pipeline for office and industrial. Wages spiked in 2016, correlating with a significant increase in multifamily development. Although the graph only displays the pipeline for office and industrial, it is also important to note that Atlanta has over 180,000 multifamily units within the development pipeline and leads the Southeast in hotel construction. As new projects remain plentiful, construction wages continue to rise due to the labor shortage the industry is currently facing.

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