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Data Show Construction Sector Still Short on Skilled Labor

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Labor + Trade Relations

Data Show Construction Sector Still Short on Skilled Labor

The construction job openings rate increased slightly during February, indicating an ongoing skilled labor shortage

April 3, 2024
Construction worker standing amid roof trusses in house
Image: Tomasz Zajda / stock.adobe.com

Looking at the overall economy, total job openings trended lower over the last year, which is consistent with a cooling economy. That's a positive sign for future inflation readings, according to the National Association of Home Builders' Eye On Housing. But, looking at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), NAHB found that the number of open jobs for the aggregate economy remained relatively unchanged during February.

The number of open construction sector jobs increased for the most recent data, rising from 425,000 in January to 441,000 in February. The count was 409,000 a year ago during a period of weaker home construction. The construction job openings rate increased slightly to 5.1% in February. The recent, increasing trend for unfilled construction jobs indicates an ongoing skilled labor shortage for the construction sector.

The construction sector layoff rate increased to 2.6%, compared to 2.1% a year ago, an indication of some labor market churn. The hiring rate increased to 4.9% in February, compared to 4.7% from a year ago.

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