‘Significant decline’ in U.S. construction job openings

By Neil GerrardMay 03, 2023

There were 341,000 job openings in March, a fall of 63,000 on the previous month and down 72,000 on the same month last year

There has been a “significant decline” in U.S. construction job openings, despite an upbeat outlook among contractors, according to new analysis of U.S. Labor Force Statistics by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

It found that there were 341,000 job openings in March, a fall of 63,000 on the previous month and down 72,000 on the same month last year.

ABC attributed the decline to weakness in the single-family homebuilding sector.

“The March Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data indicate a significant decline in open positions in the construction industry,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

“Job openings fell to their second-lowest level since mid 2021. The 3.7% of construction workers who were laid off or discharged in March is the highest rate since the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 9.6 million job openings in March across all industries was the lowest number since April 2021.

“Only 9.4% of ABC members expect their staffing levels to decrease over the next six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index. Given this relatively upbeat outlook from ABC contractors and the fact that the residential segment lost jobs in March, weakness in the single-family homebuilding sector likely accounts for much of the decrease in job openings.

Basu concluded, “With interest rates elevated and set to rise again at the Federal Reserve’s May meeting, these dynamics should remain firmly in place over the next few months.”

Debt ceiling bill launches construction permitting reform
Provisions in the Fiscal Responsibility Bill of 2023 set time limits and scope for environmental review of new federal energy projects
Mecalac’s new compact loaders push the limits of versatility
New hydraulic and maneuverability options, such as M-Drive and Speed Control, are designed to widen the scope of what six new machines can do in terms of both application and industry
Top 10 construction equipment brands revealed
This year’s study shows sales for 2022 were $230.6 billion, one of the highest figures ever recorded in the listing