Labor and materials are continuing to boost the cost of construction projects in North America. For nearly two years, prices have increased as employers worry about the shortage of skilled workers. The data comes from the Engineering and Construction Cost Index (ECCI), which registered at 53.2 percent in November, up .6 percent from the previous month. “The index divides construction costs into two major categories: materials/equipment and subcontractor labor, writes Joel Levy on ConstructionDigital.com. “With the materials/equipment portion of the index hovering near 50 since April, it was the labor segment that drove the increase for the month,” explains Levy.