Open construction jobs rate rises

The open position rate increased to 4.7% in July after two months of declines.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that the estimated number of job openings in the construction sector increased back up to 373,000 in July following two months of declines and after reaching a post-Great Recession high of 434,000 in April.

The July 2019 count of unfilled jobs represents a year-over-year gain relative to the 314,000 estimated unfilled construction jobs in July 2018.

The open position rate (job openings as a percentage of total employment plus current job openings) increased to 4.7% in July, after reaching a cycle high of 5.5% in April.

On a smoothed, 12-month moving average basis, the open position rate for the construction sector held steady at 4.2%. The peak (smoothed) rate during the building boom prior to the recession was just below 2.7%. For the current cycle, the sector has been above that rate since October 2016.

The overall trend for open construction jobs has been increasing since the end of the Great Recession.

But modest growth rates for housing construction for 2019 and 2020 are likely to place downward pressure on construction job openings in future data releases. The NAHB also said that 2019 could be the year when the job openings rate for construction levels off.

The construction sector hiring rate, as measured on a 12-month moving average basis, was steady at 5.3% in July. The 12-month moving average for layoffs came in at 2.5%, after somewhat elevated levels of construction layoffs in recent months, which could be a result of a soft residential construction market due to affordability concerns.




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