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Construction Job Openings Fell 50% From December to January

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Labor + Trade Relations

Construction Job Openings Fell 50% From December to January

A 50% decline in construction job openings has the industry's leading economists scratching their heads. Here's what may be driving the sudden slowdown

March 13, 2023
Construction protective equipment stacked on job site
Image: Rapeepat / stock.adobe.com

The total number of open jobs in the U.S. reached 10.8 million in January, but that growth wasn’t driven by the construction industry. Instead, nearly half of all construction job openings vanished in January 2023, falling a staggering 50% from the month prior to 240,000, Construction Dive reports. 

Ongoing rate hikes from the Federal Reserve are slowing the pace of job openings nationwide, and without lengthy backlogs for new development, the single-family home building segment is cooling down at an accelerated pace.

The number of construction job openings in January plummeted by 240,000, a result dubbed “simply shocking,” by Associated Builders and Contractors’ Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

But the head-scratching data isn’t without some possible explanations.

Specifically, Basu called attention to the BLS data not differentiating between residential and nonresidential numbers. So, “while many nonresidential contractors continue to report lengthy backlog and numerous open jobs, the single-family homebuilding segment has entered a period of significant retrenchment,” he said.

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