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Construction Job Openings Increased by 19,000 in May to 366,000

The construction industry had 366,000 job openings on the last day of May, 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 19,000 last month but are down by 26,000 from the same time last year.

“Today’s JOLTS data confirm that labor shortages remain firmly in place,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “This shortfall has shifted leverage to workers. Contractors laid off just 1.5% of their employees in May, the lowest rate in exactly a year and the fourth-lowest rate on record, while 2.9% of construction workers quit during the month, the highest share since last August.

“These dynamics will persist during the next few months,” said Basu. “A majority of contractors expect to increase their staffing levels over the next six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index, and today’s ADP employment report estimated that the construction industry added nearly 100,000 jobs in June. The combination of high interest rates and tight credit conditions will eventually drag down demand for construction services, but until that time the industry will continue to be defined by worker scarcity.”

JOLTS-table_may23Visit for the Construction Backlog Indicator and Construction Confidence Index, plus analysis of spending, employment, job openings and the Producer Price Index.