The construction industry had 459,000 job openings on the last day of November, 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 increased by 43,000 last month and are up by 111,000 from the same time last year.
“The number of open, unfilled construction positions increased to the highest level since the end of 2022,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “November’s 5.4% job opening rate is higher than at any point from the start of the data series in 2000 to the end of 2021. Contractors continue to grapple with skilled labor shortages even as the demand for and supply of labor in the broader economy rebalances.
“Contractors are facing severe labor shortages in regions that are home to industrial megaprojects,” said Basu. “Projects in Arizona and South Carolina, for instance, have paused in recent months due to an inability to find enough skilled workers. As construction spending in manufacturing and infrastructure subsectors continues to surge in the coming months, labor shortages should remain a top concern for the construction industry.”