Corpus Christi, Texas, will have a new peak in project labor costs in 2021, while Beaumont, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, will have greater risks of higher costs in 2019 over 2018, according to Tony Salemme, Industrial Info's vice president of craft labor. Industrial Info is tracking more than $15 billion in active projects in Corpus Christi.

On Wednesday, Industrial Info conducted a U.S. Construction Labor Demand Outlook webinar to discuss labor supply and demand imbalances in the coming years.

"Firstly, we analyze 2018 demand/supply for each of 12 crafts and forecast the same for each year going forward," Salemme said. "By knowing those crafts that will be short, your recruitment and or category managers can proactively prepare for the risk and assess the true costs."

Those crafts that will have full employment of certain crafts and shortages in others can assume they will need travelers, Salemme continued.

"By knowing and planning for this in advance, you can reflect from our wage and per diems tracking by craft and by metro, and what travelers are being paid in Lake Charles [Louisiana] or Corpus Christi, and assume you will be competing against those wages and per diems."

Industrial Info's analysis records year-on-year wage increases by craft and offers a two-year-over-year data chart that will allows its customers to better estimate wage increases by craft.

"Our tool allows owners and contractors to match up recruitment and estimating groups to be more in sync," Salemme added. "We have seen that the crafts that many think are short or having wage/per diem increases are not the ones with the greatest risk."

Industrial Info surveys 112 contractors in the Gulf Coast region each quarter and gathers their high and low wages and per diem payments for each craft.

Finally, Industrial Info tells clients the Highest Surveyed Wage [HSW] in a recent 90-day period.

"No other service does this," Salemme said. "This HSW allows you to know the truth of the cost and the wage you will need to pay to recruit for short-term or large contracts in low-population areas."

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