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October Reports Surge in Construction Job Openings

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Labor + Trade Relations

October Reports Surge in Construction Job Openings

More job gains have been reported in the second half of 2021, but many more are needed to contend with an industry-wide labor shortage


December 9, 2021
Construction job materials
Image: Stock.adobe.com

The number of open construction jobs reached a record of 410,000 unfilled positions in October in the midst of an underbuilt housing market dependent on trade labor for additional inventory. Despite a lack of workers, hiring in the construction industry rose to a 5.0% rate with more job gains reported in the second half of the year, the NAHB’s Eye on Housing reports.

Job openings in October surged year-over-year from a total of 253,000 available positions in 2021, and as the unemployment rate declines, attracting skilled labor will remain a key objective for major construction firms across the country.

The count of open construction jobs increased to 410,000 unfilled positions in October, the highest measure in the history of the data series (going back to late 2000). The housing market remains underbuilt and requires additional labor, lots and lumber and building materials to add inventory.

Hiring in the construction sector remained solid in October, rising to a 5.0% rate. The post-virus peak rate of hiring occurred in May 2020 (10.3%) as a rebound took hold in home building and remodeling. Hiring slowed in early 2021, with the exception of a weather-related rebound in March 2021. While hiring has been impeded due to a lack of workers, jobs gains have increased during the second half of this year.

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