Construction Sees More Job Openings

Sept. 12, 2017

Job openings in the construction industry are on the rise on a month-to-month basis, yet they trail data from a year ago. Seasonally adjusted construction openings increased by 20,000 in July to 232,000, according to today’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The open position rate, or the number of job openings as a percent of total employment, was 3.2% in July for construction, up from 3% in June but down from 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. “The overall trend for open construction jobs has been increasing since the end of the Great Recession,” said the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “This is consistent with survey data indicating that access to labor remains a top business challenge for builders.” It is expected future labor market readings will deteriorate due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma, said a Wells Fargo Securities economic release.

Meanwhile, construction hiring increased by 21,000 from June to July. Total construction separations also increased by 33,000 in July. “The twelve-month moving average for layoffs was steady (2.7%), remaining in a range set in 2014,” added NAHB. “The recent increase in the quits rate, an indicator of labor market churn, continued to slow, falling to a 2% rate.”

Overall, job openings were at a record high. Openings increased by 54,000 to 6.2 million in July. The data series dates back to December 2000.

– Michael Miller, editorial associate

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