News Release

Construction Labor Costs Stabilize as Projects Halted Due to COVID-19 Resume Work

Construction Labor Costs Stabilize as Projects Halted Due to COVID-19 Resume Work

June 24, 2020

NEW YORK (June 24, 2020) – Engineering and Construction costs fell in June, according to IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO) and the Procurement Executives Group (PEG). The current headline IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index registered 49.0 in June, falling just short of the neutral mark 50; a neutral index reading indicates responders see no change in pricing. The materials and equipment portion of the index came in at 47.2, still indicating falling prices, while the sub-contractor portion came in at 53.2, signaling rising costs.

Emily Crowley, associate director, Pricing and Purchasing, IHS Markit. “Construction labor markets were facing shortages prior to the economic downturn which will limit any downside correction on wages, though we may see cuts to discretionary bonuses going forward as delays lead to a thinner pipeline of new projects, taking pressure off of labor demand in the industry.”

The six-month headline expectations for future construction costs rose in June with an index figure of 52.8, recovering from an all-time low last month. Both the materials/equipment and labor subcomponents recorded expectations of future price increases. The six-month materials and equipment expectations index came in at 53.5 this month, up from 39.9 last month, with responders expecting increasing prices for seven out of 12 categories. Expectations for sub-contractor labor registered 51.2 in June. While the U.S. West is expected to see higher labor costs in six months, labor costs are expected to stay flat in the other regions of the U.S. and both regions of Canada.

In the survey comments, respondents continued to note lower demand conditions due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

To learn more about the IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index or to obtain the latest published insight, please click here.


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IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions. Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.

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