Upstate New York construction busineses report steady employment and non-executive salaries; significant increases in employee bonuses

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The Bonadio Group’s 2019 survey of upstate New York construction companies and contractors shows the majority of firms expect to maintain employment levels, with slightly under 50 percent expecting to increase employment in the coming year. Compared to results from organization’s 2017 report, bonuses increased for all employees, averaging $8,601.00, up from $7,519.00, or from 9.9 to 11.3 percent of pay.

While bonuses grew, salaries were generally consistent with 83 percent of firms surveyed stating that 2019 raises will be between 1 and 3 percent among non-executive positions relative to 2017 data. At the same time, bonuses increased from 48.5 to 60.5 percent of pay as base salary levels dropped among members of the c-suite.

“Both strategically and tactically, firms are trying to stretch their dollars to survive while satisfying their employees’ needs,” said Michael Smith, Bonadio Group partner and construction division leader. “Hiring and retaining qualified people, while simultaneously keeping pace with increasing healthcare and other costs, continues to challenge companies in an increasingly competitive environment.”

According to the survey, 95 percent of firms offer health insurance benefits of some kind. However, only 57 percent provide traditional healthcare models, while 38 percent of all respondents offer high deductible plans with a health savings account. While healthcare premiums continue to rise, the increases have been split amongst employees and employers.

Other perks construction companies and contractors make available include a 401(k) or similar retirement plan at 80 percent of respondents, with 78 percent of those making a matching or profit-sharing contribution; reimbursement for mileage to employees traveling to job sites (more than 75 percent of respondents); and paid time off, with responding firms offering seven paid holidays during the year, an increase of one paid holiday from the 2017 survey.

The biennial survey includes results from 50 respondents at construction companies and contractors representing three size categories: small, under $10 million in revenue (36 percent of respondents), medium, $10 to $50 million in revenue (51 percent of respondents), and large, more than $50 million in revenue (13 percent of respondents).

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