A closer look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), with a focus on the construction industry and additional analysis provided by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), reveals that the count of open, unfilled jobs for the overall economy declined 10% in August.
The construction labor market was not exempt from the cooling off of economic activity, brought about by the tightening of US monetary policy. However, the August data shows stability in the number of open, unfilled jobs in the construction industry.
The number of open construction jobs trekked higher, rising from 353,000 in July to 407,000 open positions in August. Despite recent data showing a slowing in housing, the August figure is actually higher than the estimate of 362,000 from August 2021. The construction job openings rate moved higher, increasing to 5% in August after a 4.4% reading in July. The series high of 5.5% was recorded in April 2022.
Construction sector layoffs remained low at a 1.6% rate, despite a slowing in building activity. In April 2020, the layoff rate was 10.8%. Since that time, the layoff rate has remained below 3%, with exception of February 2021 (due to weather effects).
The number of quits in construction was 229,000, significantly higher than the 189,000 recorded in August 2021.
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