Construction Sector Employment Trends Higher in February

A closer look at Tuesday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for February, with a focus on the construction industry and additional analysis provided by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), reveals that the construction labor market experienced a modest increase in job openings in February.

The NAHB notes that in February, the number of open jobs for the economy increased to 8.76 million. This is notably lower than the 9.85 million reported a year ago. NAHB estimates indicate that this number must fall back below 8 million for the Federal Reserve to feel more comfortable about labor market conditions and their potential impacts on inflation.

The count of open construction jobs trended higher, according to the most recent BLS data, increasing from 425,000 in January to 441,000 in February. The count in February 2023 was 409,000 during a period of weaker home construction. The construction job openings rate increased modestly in February to 5.1%. The NAHB says this recent, increasing trend for unfilled construction jobs indicates an ongoing skilled labor shortage for the construction sector.

Year-over-year, the construction sector layoff rate increased from 2.1% to 2.6% in February. The hiring rate increased to 4.9%, compared to 4.7% a year ago.

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