A closer look at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) for May 2022, with additional analysis by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reveals that number of open construction jobs was lower month-over-month in May, declining to 434,000 from April’s highest measure on record (which dates back to the late 2000) of 440,000. However, year-over-year, the May reading was 126,000 higher than May of 2021 of 308,000.
Construction sector hiring was little changed in May at a rate of 4.7%. The peak in hiring occurred in May of 2020, at 10.4%, the result of an increase in home building and remodeling in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although some slowing in building activity has been reported, construction sector layoffs remained at a 1.4% rate in May. In comparison, in April of 2020 the layoff rate was 10.8%. However, since that time, the construction sector layoff rate has remained below 3%, with the exception of February 2021, which was weather related. The NAHB notes that the rate trended lower in 2021 due a shortage of skilled labor and remains low in 2022 as the same skilled labor shortage continues.
In May, the number of construction sector quits was at 200,000. A year ago, the number of quits were 175,000.
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Construction Job Openings Leveling Off