by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | August 01, 2004

In a report on 2004 labor rates compiled by Los Angeles-based Tradeshow Week, the usual suspects held their ground as the most expensive cities in which to hold events. But according to Michael Hughes, director of research for Tradeshow Week, labor rates actually have begun to level off “after years of solid 4 to 6 percent increases.” And while the chart below outlines the costliest cities, bargains still are to be found. San Antonio posted the lowest general labor/decorator rate at $49 per hour. Cincinnati is the most affordable for electrician and carpenter services at $35 and $48 per hour, respectively, while Honolulu has the lowest rate for forklift with operator services, at $85 per hour.

Cities With the Average Costliest Labor Per Hour

City: General Labor/ Electrician Carpenter Forklift

Decorator With

Operator*

Atlantic City $74.94 $77.18 $78.88 $100

Boston $81.48 $69.33 $79.40 $235.07

Chicago $78 $78 $74.81 $282.17

Detroit $78.48 $82.14 $79.02 $235.19

Long Beach, Calif. $73 $78.75 $73 $112

New York City $100.90 $99 $115.55 $266.50

Philadelphia $81 $70 $83 $217

San Diego $73 $79 N/A $134.65

San Francisco $82.33 $96.56 $82.50 $153.42

San Jose, Calif. $105 $111.50 $105 $186.25


Source: 2004 Labor Rates, Tradeshow Week *Highest weight range per hour