By Robert D. McNeese, Staff Accountant

As the country continues to pull out of the largest recession in a generation, there are encouraging signs within the local construction industry.  In our 2012 Compensation & Benefits Benchmarking Study of local contractors, 71 percent of respondents said they anticipate revenues will hold steady or increase from 2011 to 2012. Considering how hard the industry was hit by the recession, such stability is promising.

Compensation & Benefits Benchmarking Study

Compensation Benchmark StudyForty one percent of respondents said they added employees in 2012, and 23 percent expect revenue to increase by 10 percent or more over 2011. For a significant portion of local contractors, the emphasis has shifted from surviving the recession to rewarding employees.  In 2012, contractors anticipate increasing salaries by 1.1% to 4.3% (the largest increase since 2008).

On the other hand, healthcare costs for employees continues to rise. Fifty percent of respondents cite healthcare costs as a top challenge in the future;  87 percent have considered or implemented a customer-driven health plan as a way to lower the company’s costs.

Other top challenges facing contractors in 2012 include margin pressures in competition and attracting and retaining qualified personnel.

The study was conducted in the summer by Barnes Dennig and Gallagher SKS, and it featured general contractors and specialty contractors in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton.  It was the ninth edition of our survey.

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