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Construction Employment Update: Unfilled Jobs
Robert Dietz / NAHB / September 10, 2013
The count of construction sector job openings in recent months is at levels last seen in 2008 according to government employment data. While the increase of unfilled positions in 2013 is consistent with the uptick in construction sector activity, particularly for home building, the data reflect only modest increases in total employment thus far. The rise in the count of open positions is thus consistent with reports of local labor shortages.
For the construction sector, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate that gross hiring was flat, falling from 309,000 to 308,00 from June to July. The hiring rate, as measured on a 3-month moving average basis, was also effectively unchanged, rising from 5.2% to 5.3%. The pace of construction hiring has slowed since the end of 2012.
Consistent with reports of some labor shortages for builders, the number of open, unfilled positions in the construction industry remains at levels last seen five years ago. The number of unfilled positions in the sector for July (100,000) marks six out of the seven most recent months for which this total has equaled or exceeded 100,000. Successfully filling open positions with qualified workers is a top concern for home builders in 2013.