US Construction Job Openings: September 2017

The open position rate (job openings as a per cent of total employment) for September softened to 2.8 per cent. On a smoothed twelve-month moving average basis, the open position rate for the construction sector held steady at 2.6 per cent, according to the US Bureau of Labor StatisticsJob Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, released Tuesday.

US Construction Jobs: September 2017

The overall trend for open construction jobs has been increasing since the end of the Great Recession, said US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, released Tuesday. This is consistent with survey data indicating that access to labor remains a top business challenge for builders. However, after a spate of data at the start of the year idicate a levelling off of the count of unfilled construction jobs, the count of open positions increased in recent months.

The construction sector hiring rate, as measured on a twelve-month moving average basis, continued to increase, rising to 5.4 per cent in September. The twelve-month moving average for layoffs also inched higher, to 2.8 per cent, but remained in a range set in 2014. The quits rate increased to 2.2 per cent. Overall, the uptick in hiring along with rise in job openings is consistent with a construction market that is supply-side constrained.

Overall, the labour market for US construction workers remains tight as it continues to expand. As single-family housing starts continue to increase and rebuilding efforts in Texas and Florida proceed, more workers will be needed in the residential construction sector.