NAHB: Construction job openings rise to post-recession high

Dive Brief:

  • According to a National Association of Homebuilders analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, the number of available but vacant construction positions rose from a December figure of 124,000 to 185,000 in January  the highest number since July 2007.
  • On a three-month moving average, unfilled positions rose 2% in January, the hiring rate stayed near the same at 4.9%, and the resignation rate fell to 1.2%.
  • According to the NAHB, the number of open construction jobs has been on the rise for years, beginning after the Great Recession, and is in line with reports that indicate a pervasive shortage of skilled labor.

Dive Insight:

The NAHB reported that residential construction employment, which grew by 15,900 in February and boasts a 20,000 six-month average of monthly employment growth, has reached a little more than 2.5 million. In the last year, homebuilders and remodelers have increased their ranks by 155,000 and have added 598,100 jobs since the recession.

The increasing number of unfilled jobs in the overall U.S. economy is causing concern among employers across business sectors who worry about their ability find enough workers in the future as well, according to the NAHB report.

In past reports, the NAHB has cited the lack of available labor, as well as land, as the main reasons behind the sluggish optimism of builders. In addition, just this month, the Associated General Contractors of America again celebrated the strong demand for skilled workers in the industry but expressed concern about the potential for a scarcity of labor in the future. The AGC said it is critical to develop a pipeline of younger workers to shore up the ranks of skilled workers and to be ready to replace older workers who are retiring.

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