US Construction Job Openings: April 2017

The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector climbed in April, rising to the highest level since September of last year.

According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis released Monday, the number of open construction sector jobs stood at 203,000 in April. The cycle high was 238,000, set in July of last year.

The open position rate (job openings as a percent of total employment) for April came in at 2.9 per cent. On a smoothed twelve-month moving average basis, the open position rate for the construction sector held steady at 2.7 per cent, near the cycle high.

The overall trend for open construction jobs has been increasing since the end of the Great Recession.

Construction Jobs, US

The construction sector hiring rate, as measured on a twelve-month moving average basis, held at 5.1 per cent in April, according to NAHB. The twelve-month moving average for layoffs was steady (2.6 per cent), remaining in a range set in 2014.

In May, the unemployment rate for construction workers stood at 5.9 per cent. The unemployment rate for the construction occupation had been on a general decline since reaching a peak rate of 22 per cent in February 2010, although it has levelled off in the 6 to 7 per cent range since the middle of 2016.

Monthly employment data for May

2017 indicate that home builder and remodeler employment increased by 7,100 jobs. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction now stands at somewhat above 8,000 a month.

Residential construction employment is now 2.7 million, broken down as 767,000 builders and 1.93 million residential specialty trade contractors.