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News July 9, 2024

Construction job openings rose in May

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey shows the construction industry registered 339,000 job openings in May, which is up by 2,000 from April but down by 38,000 from May 2023, according to Associated Builders and Contractors. The survey defines a job opening as any unfilled position for which an employer is actively recruiting.

Construction workers quit at a faster rate than they were laid off; the quit rate in May was 2.4%, and the layoff/discharge rate was 1.8%.

“While the number of open, unfilled construction positions has declined over the past year, the industry is still faced with widespread labor shortages,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The 4% of construction jobs that were unfilled in May is a higher rate than in the months leading up to the start of pandemic, a time when construction labor was already scarce. Because of these shortages, a higher share of construction workers quit in May than in any month over the past year.

“Over half of contractors intend to increase their staffing levels during the next six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index,” Basu continued. “As a result of this ongoing intention to hire and the lack of available workers, contractors laid off just 1.8% of the workforce in May, a smaller share than in any month on record prior to late 2021.”

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