Labour Shortfalls Push Australia Down Global Construction Index


Australia has ranked 15th in world for construction workers as the country battles with a skills shortage and a building boom.

Average salary, cost of living and safety were the major factors used to determine the ranking of 125 countries, which has been compiled by Workwear Guru using data from Salaryexplorer, Numbeo and Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Switzerland was found to be the best country for construction workers, followed by the United Kingdom and Belgium.

The worst places to work in the industry were Yemen and Uzbekistan for low salaries, Myanmar and Uganda for dangerous conditions, while Switzerland and Bermuda had the highest cost of living.

Top countries for construction workers

Rank CountrySalaryCost of LivingIncident Rate
2United Kingdom$57,95770.648%
4United States$55,80070.5520%
11New Zealand $39,971 76.3114%
12United Arab Emirates$36,48358.9413%

^Source: Workwear Guru

Builders in Australia were continuing to report wage pressures due from skills shortages, according to the latest Australian Performance of Construction Index.

The pressure of the HomeBuilder scheme was adding to this, creating a bigger pipeline and leading to businesses requiring more staff.

The Australian PCI also found builders were limiting new projects to reduce the impacts of price increases between signing a contract an commencing construction.

Analysts warned the acute labour and skill shortages were unlikely to be resolved in the next few years, leading to intensifying competition for workers.

The halt in construction in NSW and Victoria only added to the problem as jobs piled up.

Meanwhile, tradies were moving to Queensland in record numbers as interstate migration outpaces international migration.


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