Construction Job Openings Surge to Record High

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The labor market continues to tighten, especially for the construction industry. The count of open construction jobs increased to 410,000 unfilled positions in October, the highest measure in the history of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data series (going back to late 2000). The housing market remains underbuilt and requires additional labor, lots, and lumber and building materials to add inventory. The job openings rate in construction surged to 5.4% in October, with 410,000 open positions in the sector. This is significantly higher than the 253,000 count recorded a year ago. Looking forward, the construction job openings rate is likely to see increased upward pressure as both the residential and nonresidential construction sectors trend higher. Attracting skilled labor will remain a key objective for construction firms in the coming quarters and will become more challenging as the labor market strengthens and the unemployment rate declines. NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz provides more analysis in this Eye on Housing blog post.

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