The hot housing market remains in a 299,000 worker deficit, according to May data from the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The National Association of Home Builders says job hiring remained strong with a 4.2% hiring rate, but it’s nothing compared to May 2020’s 10.3% hiring rate that came after the highest layoff rate in April 2020. Layoff rates remained steady as well at a rate of 2.1%.
Construction sector layoffs remained steady in May at a 2.1% rate. In April 2020, the layoff rate was 10.9%. Since that time however, the sector layoff rate has been below 3%, with the exception of February 2021 due to weather effects.
The job openings rate in construction declined to 3.9% in May, with 299,000 open positions in the sector. This is slightly higher than the 281,000 count recorded a year ago.
Looking forward, the construction job openings rate is likely to experience choppiness in the months ahead given divergent outlooks within the construction industry. For example, in June, residential construction posted a jobs gain, while nonresidential construction experienced a job loss. Nonetheless, attracting skilled labor will remain a key objective for residential and nonresidential construction firms in the coming quarters and will become more challenging as the rest of the economy recovers.