Construction Job Openings Plummet 17.5% in June

Construction job openings fell by 71,000 in June, to 334,000, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey data - revealing early signs of a slowing market

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According to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey data, construction job openings fell by 71,000 in June, to 334,000. 

In June, construction workers quit their jobs at a faster rate (2.3%) than they were laid off or discharged (1.7%). June represented the 16th consecutive month in which quits outpaced or equaled layoffs and discharges. While monthly jobs declined, industry openings are up by 13,000 from this time last year.

“Demand for workers is clearly fading due to rising borrowing costs, increasingly pervasive pessimism and growing risk of recession,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu in a press release. “Among the segments experiencing the sharpest reduction in job openings was construction. In May, the national construction industry had 405,000 available, unfilled jobs. By June, this number had declined to 334,000. While that remains a significant number of job openings, these factors have diminished contractor profit margin expectations, as indicated by ABC’s Construction Confidence Index.  While debate regarding whether or not the United States is in recession rages on, one thing appears clear: the U.S. economy is poised to slow."

Total Unemployment Down

The not-seasonally-adjusted (NSA) national construction unemployment rate dropped 3.8 percent in June from a year earlier, down from 7.5 percent to 3.7 percent. Meanwhile, all 50 states had lower unemployment rates over the same period, according to a state-by-state analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by ABC. Ten states had an estimated construction unemployment rate under 2 percent, while the highest unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in New Mexico.

This was the third month in a row that all states posted construction unemployment rates below 10 percent. Michigan posted its lowest June estimated construction unemployment rate since June 2018 and New Mexico had the largest year-over-year improvement in its unemployment rate, down 7.9% from June 2021.