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After an elevated 11.2 million reading in December 2022, the highest level recorded since July, the count of open, unfilled jobs for the overall economy fell in February to 9.9 million, and more declines are expected in 2023 as the labor market softens and unemployment rises.

The construction job openings rate decreased to 4.9% in February after a data series high of 5.8% in December 2022, suggesting that the construction labor market may have peaked in 2022 and is now entering a cooling stage as the overall housing market weakens, NAHB Eye on Housing reports.

Despite the weakening that will occur in 2023, the housing market remains underbuilt and requires additional labor, lots and lumber and building materials to add inventory. Hiring in the construction sector ticked down to a still solid 4.7% rate in February. The post-virus peak rate of hiring occurred in May 2020 (10.4%) as a post-covid rebound took hold in home building and remodeling.

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