The construction industry had 383,000 job openings in April, 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 68,000 last month but are down by 35,000 from the same time last year.
“Demand for construction workers remained elevated in April despite an array of economic headwinds,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “There are signs that higher interest rates have dampened demand for construction services, especially in the residential segment, yet contractors continue to struggle to fill open positions. Overall, 4.6% of construction positions were unfilled in April, a significantly higher rate than the pre-pandemic average of 2.2%.
“Further, contractors expect their demand for labor to remain elevated over the next two quarters,” said Basu. “Approximately 58% of ABC members intend to increase their staffing levels over the next six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index. At some point, the combination of a year-plus of rising interest rates and tighter credit conditions will reduce demand for construction services. For now, contractors remain busy and will continue to grapple with ongoing worker shortages.”