The count of unfilled jobs in the overall construction sector increased in November, as hiring in the home building sector accelerated.
According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis Tuesday, the number of open construction sector jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis) increased to 135,000 in November from 121,000 in October. The cycle high of 168,000 open positions was set during March.
On a three-month moving average basis, the open position rate (job openings as a percent of total employment) for the construction sector held steady at 1.9 per cent for November. The overall trend for construction open jobs has been increasing, although the current open rate is down from the cycle high last reached in May (2.4 per cent) as construction hiring picked up in recent months.
The construction sector hiring rate, as measured on a three-month moving average basis, increased to 5.1 per cent, although it remains near rates set in the spring of 2015. The quits rate for construction jumped to 2 per cent for November, the highest rate since December 2014.
The pace of hiring for the residential construction industry had been slowing over the course of 2015. With the jumps in November and December however, the six-month average of monthly employment growth is now a healthy 15,000.