- After a “simply shocking” January where half of construction’s job openings vanished, the number of positions for which contractors are actively recruiting increased by 129,000 in February, according to analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Associated Builders and Contractors.
- The 412,000 job openings for February were still down 9,000, or 2.1%, when compared to the year prior. ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said the data proves “January was a statistical aberration.”
- “Demand for construction workers remains elevated despite fears of recession, slow implementation of America’s infrastructure rebuilding program, higher interest rates and growing concerns regarding the availability of project financing in light of recent bank failures,” Basu said in the report.
The increase in available jobs also supports recent surveys of ABC members, which indicate that nonresidential construction firms are in “growth mode,” Basu wrote. Builders anticipate sales, employment and profit margins to expand over the coming months.
“In the face of numerous headwinds, the resilience of the U.S. nonresidential construction industry remains remarkable,” he said.
Nonetheless, the Associated General Contractors of America reported a large number of employers simply don’t have the current staffing levels needed to bid on some projects. When that is the case, they decline to pursue work.
From January to February, construction employment increased in 24 states, held steady in six and declined in 20 and Washington, D.C., according to AGC’s report.
“Unfavorable weather may have held back construction in many states last month compared to January,” said Ken Simonson, the AGC chief economist. “But construction employment continued to expand almost everywhere in February compared to a year ago, despite a slump in homebuilding.”