Demand for Construction Jobs Remains High

Jan. 30, 2024
Ongoing competition to fill openings.

The construction industry had 449,000 job openings in December, down 8% from December 2022, and 5% from November 2023, according to Associated Builders and Contractors. The group analyzed government data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) done by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

JOLTS defines a job opening as any unfilled position for which an employer is actively recruiting. Industry job openings are up by 25,000 from the same time last year.

“The construction industry averaged 445,000 job openings per month in the fourth quarter of 2023,” said Anirban Basu, ABC chief economist, in a statement. “That’s the highest quarterly level on record and a strong indication that the labor shortages that have long plagued the construction industry remain firmly in place. With more than half of contractors expecting to increase their staffing levels over the next six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index, the supply of workers is unlikely to meet demand for the first half of 2024.

Read also: 2024 Prices Remain a Concern for Fleets

“There is, however, some good news regarding worker availability,” said Basu. “While contractors are still laying off workers at a historically low rate, the rate at which construction workers are quitting has fallen below 2019 levels. This is likely a reflection of falling demand for labor in industries that compete with construction for talent, including trade, transportation and utilities, which has seen a 25% decline in job openings over the past year.”

Source: Associated Builders and Contractors 

About the Author

Harlee Hewitt

Harlee is associate editor for Construction Equipment. She has a Bachelor's in English with a focus on technical writing.