The construction industry had 341,000 job openings in March, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. JOLTS defines a job opening as any unfilled position for which an employer is actively recruiting. Industry job openings decreased by 63,000 last month and are down by 72,000 from the same time last year.
“The March JOLTS data indicate a significant decline in open positions in the construction industry,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Job openings fell to their second-lowest level since mid-2021. The 3.7% of construction workers who were laid off or discharged in March is the highest rate since the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 9.6 million jobs openings in March across all industries was the lowest number since April 2021.
“Only 9.4% of ABC members expect their staffing levels to decrease over the next six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index,” said Basu. “Given this relatively upbeat outlook from ABC contractors and the fact that the residential segment lost jobs in March, weakness in the single-family homebuilding sector likely accounts for much of the decrease in job openings. With interest rates elevated and set to rise again at the Federal Reserve’s May meeting, these dynamics should remain firmly in place over the next few months.”