Turner: Skilled-labor premiums offsetting minor materials cost decreases

Sources: Turner Construction Co., New York

The First Quarter 2016 Turner Building Cost Index, a key measurement of the U.S. nonresidential market, has increased 1.15 percent from the prior quarter to a value of 970. “The shortage of skilled labor is outweighing the impact of declining material prices,” says Turner Construction Vice President Attilio Rivetti, who compiles the Cost Index. “As the volume of work remains relatively high, we expect subcontractors to continue to be strategic in pursuits, ultimately resulting in upward cost pressures.”

Turner has prepared a construction cost forecast for 80-plus years. Used widely by the construction industry, plus federal and state government officials, cost and price trends tracked by the Turner Building Cost Index may or may not reflect regional conditions in any given quarter. The index is determined by several factors considered on a nationwide basis, including labor rates and productivity, material prices and competitive condition of the marketplace.