- Construction job openings dropped in October to 423,000, a decrease of less than 1% from September, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report released Tuesday.
- About 5% of construction jobs went unfilled on the last day of October, according to BLS. Despite the slight decrease from the previous month, construction job openings grew over 6% when compared to October 2022.
- “While labor market tightness is easing across all economic segments, worker scarcity remains a pressing issue for the construction industry,” said Anirban Basu, chief economist for Associated Builders and Contractors, in a release. About half of contractors still plan to up their staffing levels in the next half year, according to ABC data — a trend that has persisted. “The lack of available workers will remain a headwind for the construction industry over the next several quarters,” Basu said.
Across all industries, job openings dropped by around 6% from September.
“This is a strong indication that the demand for labor is slowing, although the supply of workers is still far too low to meet that demand,” Basu said. “The number of open, unfilled jobs across the economy still exceeds the pre-pandemic level by more than 1.7 million.”
Although the number of jobs for which construction employers actively sought workers dropped only slightly in October, the number of separations jumped. About 173,000 construction workers quit in October, a 25% increase from September. Additionally, companies laid off or discharged 163,000 workers in October, nearly 4% more than the month before.
Construction has turned wherever it can for workers. In Florida, for example, a state senator has introduced a bill paving the way for minors to work in roofing. Though the bill is still in its early stages, advocates say with the right safety measures in place, it could help meet the demand for labor while training 16-year-olds for the workplace.