LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Wages went up for construction laborers working in the Las Vegas valley last year, but inflation erased about half of the raise, according to a study released on Thursday.

And inflation has been much worse this year. An August report indicated that inflation costs Nevadans $805 per month — the seventh-highest in the nation.

About 7,600 construction laborers working in the Las Vegas metro area saw a 7.1% pay increase in 2021. But inflation-adjusted figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show they only gained 3.4% compared to 2019. The study was released Thursday by Construction Coverage.

The study shows that wages filed to keep up with inflation nationwide despite nearly a decade of growth. The industry was in desperate need for laborers over the past decade before construction spending began to fall in recent months. Rising mortgage rates and inflation have taken a toll on construction.

Construction laborers perform some of the most demanding physical labor on construction sites. Nearly 1 million laborers had jobs in 2021. They are by far the lowest-paid segment in the construction industry with median annual wages of $37,770.

The Las Vegas metro area ranked No. 29 out of the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. for gains after inflation, falling far behind gains in some other metro areas that saw wages climb above $45,000 a year. The average construction laborer in the Las Vegas valley made about $37,500.

The Top 5 gains in the U.S.:

  1. Indianapolis, IN, $45,850 (+20.0%)
  2. Buffalo, NY, $45,850 (+17.1%)
  3. Cincinnati, OH, $46,530 (+12.0%)
  4. Memphis, TN, $36,570 (+10.9%)
  5. New York/Newark/Jersey City, NY/NJ/PA, $59,250 (+10.7%)

By state, Indiana and Montana had the biggest increases in construction laborer wages. Nevada ranked No. 28.

Reno lost ground, with an average wage of $29,460 worth 2.0% less than two years before because of inflation.

See the full study at Construction Coverage.