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Construction Labor Market Shows Normalization in July, August

Labor + Trade Relations

Construction Labor Market Shows Normalization in July, August

October 7, 2020
Group of construction workers walking to building site
Photo: Tund

Despite waves of layoffs in March and April, the construction labor market continues to rebound. Hiring rates in the construction sector were back to pre-pandemic levels in both July and August. For those months, the hiring rate hit 5.5%, the same rate as one year ago. In July, the number of open construction jobs hit 332,000, according to NAHB. Then, one month later in August, that number dropped to 264,000. One year ago, there were 353,000 construction job openings. The layoff rate has dropped significantly since the beginning of the pandemic as well.

Construction sector layoffs have been low since May. In April, the layoff rate was 10.8%, after a loss of 7.9% in March. Since that time however, the layoff rate has been below 3%: 2.5% in May and 2.7% in June and July and 2.8% in August.

Looking forward, the job openings rate is likely to experience choppiness in the months ahead given divergent outlooks within the construction industry.

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