Chicago among best paying cities for construction workers

The construction industry is one of the largest in the United States and, according to the Census Bureau, is currently responsible for more than $1.3 trillion in annual spending. That number is up from a modern low of $788 billion in 2011 following the Great Recession.

Since then, nearly a decade of broad economic growth in the U.S. has increased demand for new homes, commercial buildings, infrastructure, and other projects. As such, employment in the construction industry has grown to match it.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in construction is projected to grow 11 percent between 2016 and 2026, far outpacing the projected national average of 7.4 percent across all occupations. As of 2017, there were almost 6 million construction workers in the U.S., which represent just over 4 percent of the nation’s workforce. By 2026, the BLS projects an additional 747,600 new construction jobs will be created.

On a national level, construction workers are generally well-compensated for their hard work. Last year, the median annual wage for all construction occupations was $44,730—about 19 percent higher than the national median wage across all occupations, which was $37,690. However, pay can vary widely by location. Across the U.S., median annual wages in the construction industry range from a low of $28,000 in parts of Texas and Florida to a high of more than $70,000 in the Chicago metropolitan area.

To determine which cities offer the highest salaries for construction workers, researchers at Construction Coverage, a review website for construction insurance and software, analyzed employment and salary data from the BLS. For an accurate comparison across cities, Construction Coverage calculated “adjusted median salaries” that factor in cost-of-living differences across urban areas.

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