A closer look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for September released on Wednesday (11-1-23), 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 experienced an uptick in interest in hiring in September.
According to the BLS, the number of open construction jobs increased from a revised reading of 375,000 in August to 431,000 in September. Meanwhile, the construction job openings rate increased to 5.1%. These estimates come after a data series high of 488,000 in December 2022. Since then, the housing market has continued to cool as the backlog has been reduced, with a noticeable uptick in month-to-month volatility.
Construction sector hiring decreased to a rate of 3.8% in September, after a rate of 4.6% in August. 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 1.9% in September, after a rate of 2.2% in August. In April 2020, the layoff rate was 10.8% and it has been below 3.0% ever since (with the exception of a weather-related issue in February 2021 and March 2023 due to some market churn).
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