Open Job Levels in Construction Remain High

July 11, 2018
Empty seats in baseball stadium
Photo: Unsplash/Veronica Benavides

In May, the share of vacant jobs in construction was flat at 243,000, staying near the post-housing crisis high level of 255,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of open jobs in construction was higher year-over-year by about 60,000 positions. Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, explains that during the nation's recovery from the Great Recession, open jobs have been proliferating in the industry, dovetailing with survey data showing that access to labor is a major challenge for builder firms and companies. The hiring rate in construction grew 5.3 percent in May. 

The open position rate (job openings as a percentage of total employment plus current job openings) for May was flat at 3.3 percent. On a smoothed, twelve-month moving average basis, the open position rate for the construction sector increased to almost 3 percent, a post-recession high. The peak (smoothed) rate during the building boom prior to the recession was just below 2.7 percent. For the current cycle, the sector has been above that rate since November 2016.

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