Unfilled Construction Job Openings Exceed Record High Levels in April 2022

A closer look at the construction sector portion of today’s (6-1-22) Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS), with additional analysis provided by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), reveals that the construction labor market remains extremely tight, with job openings continuing to rise year-over-year.

The job opening rate in construction held at 5.6% in April, with the number of unfilled open construction positions jumping to 449,000. According to the NAHB, this is the highest measure in the history of the data series, which dates back into the late 2000. In comparison, in April of 2021, the number of unfilled construction jobs was at 329,000.

Hiring in the construction sector dropped down to a rate of 4.6% in April. The post-virus peak rate of hiring occurred in May 2020, reaching 10.4% as a rebound took hold in home construction and remodeling.

Construction sector layoffs remained low at a 1.5% rate. In April 2020, the layoff rate was 10.8%. Since that time, however, the sector layoff rate has been below 3%, with the exception of February 2021 due to weather effects. The rate trended lower in 2021 due to the skilled labor shortage and remains low in 2022 as the market remains tight.

The NAHB notes that the housing market remains underbuilt and requires additional labor, lots, lumber, and building materials to add to inventory. That said, the housing market is now slowing due to higher interest rates, which will likely be reflected in construction labor data in the months ahead.


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Construction Job Openings Jump