The number of open construction jobs reached a record high in October as workforce shortages persist, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) reported.
The AGC said the 457,000 open construction positions as of the end of October represented the highest October total in the 23-history of the series maintained by the government.
The Arlington, Va.-based organization said the construction industry added only 2,000 jobs from October to November, with employment reaching a seasonally adjusted 8,033,000 positions. About 200,000 jobs have been added over the past year – a 2.6% increase vs. 1.8% job growth in the overall economy, the AGC noted.
The AGC said the 457,000 open construction positions as of the end of October represented the highest October total in the 23-year history of the series maintained by the government.
“The steep rise in pay for craft and other hourly workers, along with an earlier report of record job openings heading into November, indicate that contractors are still struggling to find enough skilled workers,” commented AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson.
“The slowdown in employment is a sign of how tight the job market is, not an indication that construction demand is lagging,” he added.
Growth in construction continues to be constrained by labor shortages, the AGC said.
“Construction workforce shortages are a problem not just for contractors, but the broader economy because they limit job growth and make it harder to build infrastructure and economic development projects,” said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr.
Spending on construction projects grew by 0.6% from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $2.027 trillion in October. While spending on both residential and nonresidential projects increased overall, segment results were mixed.
“It is apparent that the construction market overall remains healthy,” Simonson stated.
“But a rotation is occurring among nonresidential segments as manufacturing construction expands, while commercial construction slumps and highway and street spending stagnates. On the residential side, single-family construction is picking up, while multifamily is descending from record highs,” he noted.
Join Steel Market Update at the Tampa Steel Conference next month to hear Ken Simonson present the AGC’s construction forecast for 2024.
Laura MillerRead more from Laura Miller
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