- The construction industry had 71,000 fewer job openings in June, providing more evidence that a once-scorching employment market is starting to cool.
- There were 334,000 open jobs across construction in June, a 17.5% plummet from May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey. But that was still 4% higher than the number of job openings in the sector a year ago.
- “Demand for workers is clearly fading due to rising borrowing costs, increasingly pervasive pessimism and growing risk of recession,” said Anirban Basu, chief economist for Associated Builders and Contractors in a release that analyzed the data. “While debate regarding whether or not the United States is in recession rages on, one thing appears clear: the U.S. economy is poised to slow.”
Basu said construction experienced one of the sharpest reductions in job openings of all sectors. But it also appeared the remaining openings continued due to workers’ preferences, and not those of employers.
For example, construction workers still quit their jobs at a faster rate (2.3%) than they were laid off or fired in June, Basu noted. That marked the 16th consecutive month in which quits outpaced or equaled layoffs and discharges, a hallmark of what’s become known as the Great Resignation. Meanwhile, the 346,000 construction hires in June still outpaced the 317,000 total job separations.
Whether the trend of becoming unemployed by choice will continue, however, is an open question. The U.S. experienced two consecutive quarters of economic contraction, one simple definition of a recession, in the first half of 2022. “What had been an economy beset largely by issues of supply is now becoming one faced with both supply chain issues and weakening demand for goods and services,” Basu said.
Construction job openings and labor turnover data, June 2022
|June 2022||May 2022||Change|
SOURCE: BLS, ABC