According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in their Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for March 2020, there were 618,000 layoffs in the construction sector. This is huge increase over February’s 202,000 layoffs and is 245% above the March of 2019 total of 179,000. The JOLTS report for April will be released in June, and there will certainly be even more layoffs reported at that time. The March data showed an increase of the layoff rate to 8.1% from 2.6% in February. This was the highest rate recorded in the history of the JOLTS data, which began at the end of 2001. There is some potential good news, four weeks of gains for mortgage application data suggest that the residential portion of the construction industry labor market may now be bottoming out.
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