The national average for body and paint labor rates has risen only modestly year-over-year since 2006, according to figures from CCC Information Services. The average body labor rate rose from $41.42 in 2006 to $44.67 in 2010, up an average of 2.1 percent per year (paint labor rates rose similarly).
The national average hourly rate for paint materials rose slightly faster, from $22.26 in 2006 to $25.37 in 2010, an average increase of 3.5 percent per year.
Overall, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for autobody work rose an average of 3.44 percent per year for that 5-year period. By comparison, the CPI for all products rose an average of 2.2 percent per year. The CPI for auto insurance rose an average of 2.6 percent per year, and the CPI for vehicle parts and equipment (other than tires) rose an average of 3.92 percent per year.