U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports Construction Sector Layoffs Surged in April

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Job Openings Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), which is a backwards-looking compilation of data, there was a clear and sudden stop associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the construction labor market. In a separate BLS labor market report, there were 422,000 jobs lost in the residential construction sector in April. Albeit, followed by a promising gain of 226,000 residential construction jobs added in May. In total the construction sector recorded almost 1.3 million layoffs during March and April. Despite the loss of construction jobs, the April JOLTS data shows a job openings count in construction of 256,000. This in the face of the historic shutdown of parts of the U.S. economy. Given the May gain for home builder and remodeling employment, the construction rate in next month’s JOLTS report should show momentum for hiring in the construction sector.

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