The construction labor market remains tight, approaching an all-time high, as the industry sees a rising number of job openings year-over-year.
The count of open construction jobs increased slightly to 396,000 unfilled positions in March from a 383,000 rate in February. This is significantly higher than the 336,000 count recorded a year ago. The job openings rate in construction remained elevated at 4.9% in March.
The highest measure in the history of the data series (going back to late 2000) was 416,000 open jobs in April 2019. The housing market remains underbuilt and requires additional labor, lots and lumber and building materials to add inventory.
Looking forward, the construction job openings rate is likely to see increased upward pressure as both the residential and nonresidential construction sectors expand. 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.