A closer look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for August, with a focus on the construction sector and additional analysis provided by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), reveals that the construction labor market continued to slow in August. The overall trend is one of cooling for open construction sector jobs as the housing market slows and backlog is reduced, with a notable uptick in month-to-month volatility since late last year, the NAHB says.
The count of open construction jobs decreased to 350,000 in August. The NAHB points out that this estimate comes after a data series high of 488,000 was reported in December 2022. The construction job openings rate held at 4.2%.
Construction sector hiring decreased to 4.4% in August, after being reported at 4.8% in July. The post-virus peak in hiring—10.4%—occurred in May 2020 as a post-COVID rebound took place in home building and remodeling.
Construction sector layoffs fell back to 2% in August, after being reported at 2.2% in July. In April 2020, the layoff rate was 10.8%, and since that time, the sector layoff rate has been below 3.0%, with the exception of a weather-related issue in February 2021 and March 2023 due to some market churn.
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