For hourly workers in the trades, pay rose in May by 6.3% year over year, the highest increase since December 1982, according to Simonson. As those wages increased though, earnings in the overall private sector rose 6.5%. The slightly higher increase for all workers only steepens the uphill battle contractors must climb to find workers.
In addition, the number of unemployed construction workers fell by 39% to 392,000. That could indicate fewer experienced jobseekers remain for builders to hire, Simonson said.