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National construction job openings flat since April

(Deposit Photos)

(Deposit Photos)

National construction job openings flat since April

There were 339,000 construction job openings in May, a slight rise from April’s total of 337,000, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed. That’s 38,000 less job openings compared to May 2023.

The industry is still dealing with labor shortages despite unfilled positions falling over the past year, said Anirban Basu, chief economist of the Associated Builders and Contractors.

“The 4.0% of construction jobs that were unfilled in May is a higher rate than in the months leading up to the start of the pandemic, a time when construction labor was already scarce,” Basu said. “Because of these shortages, a higher share of construction workers quit in May than in any month over the past year,” he added.

More than half of contractors who responded to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index want to add to their staff over the next six months, Basu said. Companies laid off only 1.8% of its workforce in May, a smaller share than any month before late 2021, he added.

Construction jobs increased in 63% (or 225 of 358 metro areas) between May 2023 and May 2024, a report from the Associated General Contractors of America showed. Changing demand for construction and labor woes affected employment in some parts of the country, officials said.

“A pullback in starts by developers of apartments, warehouses and offices, along with spotty improvement in single-family starts, has held down job gains in some metros,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist at AGC. “But surging demand for data centers, manufacturing and power projects and infrastructure mean contractors in many metros are still short of all the workers they need,” he added.

The Houston, Texas, area had the highest increase of construction jobs of 8,400 jobs or 4% over the past 12 months, followed by Baton Rouge, Louisiana (8,200 jobs, 18%) and the Las Vegas area (6,900 jobs, 8%).

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