Job openings in construction declined in December as hiring slowed, albeit with distinctions between residential and nonresidential construction. As detailed in the January employment report, there were 2,500 lost total construction sector jobs for the start of the year. Nonetheless, for home building and remodeling, sector employment is 27,600 positions higher than a year prior.
Overall, hiring in the construction sector remained steady in December, coming in at a 5.6% rate. The peak rate of hiring in 2020 occurred in May (9.7%) as a rebound took hold in home building and remodeling.
Construction sector layoffs dipped in December to 2.3%. In April, the layoff rate was 10.8%, after a loss of 7.9% in March. Since that time however, the sector layoff rate has been below 3%.
The job openings rate in construction declined in December to a 2.6% rate, with 195,000 open positions in the sector. This is lower than the 216,000 count recorded a year ago.
Looking forward, the construction job openings rate is likely to experience choppiness in the months ahead given divergent outlooks within the construction industry. Home building and remodeling are relative bright spots for the overall economy, while nonresidential construction will experience greater headwinds. Nonetheless, attracting skilled labor will remain a key objective for residential and nonresidential construction firms in the coming quarters.