Construction Job Openings Rose by 16,000 in February

Washington, DC, April 4, 2024-The construction industry had 441,000 job openings on the last day of February, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. JOLTS defines a job opening as any unfilled position for which an employer is actively recruiting. Industry job openings increased by 16,000 last month and are up by 32,000 from the same time last year.

“The number of open, unfilled construction positions stood at the second highest level on record at the end of February,” said ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “This occurred despite the fact that contractors hired workers at the fastest rate since March 2023.

“While these dynamics are emblematic of ongoing industrywide labor shortages, contractors also laid workers off at an elevated rate throughout February,” said Basu. “This suggests a schism in which certain construction segments powered by federal funding and incentives continue to generate tremendous demand for labor, while privately financed segments had somewhat slower growth. Despite the moderating effect of high borrowing costs on projects reliant on private funding, fewer than 11% of contractors expect their staffing levels to decrease over the next six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index.”