Competitive labor conditions across Southeast metros affect Charleston, causing construction wages to rise

Southeast construction pipelines and average hourly labor wages in Charleston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Greenville, Nashville, Raleigh 2012 through YTD 2023
  • The U.S. experienced a 120,000 increase in construction job openings to start the year, while hiring decreased by 18,000, indicating a personnel shortage, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. With fewer workers, projects will take longer, and labor costs will rise as companies compete for quality laborers.
  • Since the pandemic, the wage disparity across all Southeast markets has diminished, signaling competitive labor conditions among Southeast metros. This suggests that the volume of work is less influential in determining pay, with competition for workers becoming a more critical factor.
  • Starting unskilled construction labor wages in Charleston have reached $19/hour. Skilled construction positions have seen an even larger increase in pay. The shortage of labor in the market has caused average construction wages to increase by 41% in the past 10 years.

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US-SC-CRW Charleston