Construction Job Openings Continued to Grow in October

In October, the number of unfilled construction jobs increased to 410,000. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) this is the highest level in the history of the data service, which dates back to late 2000. In order for the housing market to catch up with demand, it is going to require copious amounts of lumber, panels, and building materials, but most importantly labor.

In October, hiring in the construction remained strong, 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.

On the other hand, construction sector layoffs remained near a 4-year low, at a 1.8% rate in October. 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 rate has trended lower in 2021 due to the skilled labor shortage.

The job openings rate in construction surged to 5.4% in October, with 410,000 open positions in the sector. This is significantly higher than the 253,000 count recorded a year ago.

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Construction Job Openings Surge