Wage and fringe contract settlements for Michigan's unionized construction trades workers averaged 4.4 percent or $1.61 an hour in 2002 - above the national average of 4.1 percent and $1.39 per hour.
The contract numbers for Michigan are associated with 44,052 workers and 32 settled collective bargaining agreements, according to the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC), which released the figures last month.
Michigan's strong construction union presence undoubtedly contributed to the higher percentage increase in wages and fringes. Only Minnesota (5.4 percent average increase), Illinois (4.8 percent increase) and Texas (4.6 percent increase) were higher than Michigan's. Our state's wage and fringe increases lead the nation in 2000 and 2001.
Since it's a right-to-work state, Texas' big jump in pay percentage is a little surprising. However, that state's average hourly pay increase was only increased by 96 cents an hour.
Overall in the U.S., pay and fringe rates rose an average 4.0 percent in 2001, more than the 3.8 percent a year earlier. From 1995 to 2000, reports the CLRC, the range of annual increases was 3.0 to 3.8 percent. The increase for 2001 was the largest since 1983.