Record construction job openings show signs of slowing | New


End of construction of the Sixth Street Viaduct in LA before it opens. Photo © Iwan Baan, courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architecture

The number of vacancies in the construction industry seems to be decreasing, according to new figures by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). June 2022 saw 334,000 vacancies in the sector, down 17% from the previous month, but still 4% more than in June 2021.

ABC’s analysis, using survey data derived from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, suggests that the construction industry has seen one of the largest reductions in job openings in the entire US. economy over the past month. ABC believes the decline is fueled by rising borrowing costs and growing fears of a recession.

Related on Archinect: America’s Largest Cities See Increases in Commercial and Multi-Family Construction Starts in the First Half of 2022

“As the debate over whether or not the United States is in a recession rages on, one thing seems clear: the U.S. economy is about to slow down,” ABC’s chief economist said. Anirban Basu in a statement. “What had been an economy largely beset by supply issues is now becoming plagued with both supply chain issues and weakening demand for goods and services.”

The analysis showed that, for the 16th consecutive month, construction workers left their jobs at a faster rate (2.3%) than they were laid off (1.7%). The hiring rate of new workers in the industry (4.5%) also continues to be higher than the leaving rate (4.1%).

Related on Archinect: Despite Wage Increases, Construction Job Openings Remain at an All-Time High

While the number of unfilled positions fell sharply from May 2022, a separate Association of General Contractors of America (AGC) analysis from June noted that May 2022 was a record month for unfilled positions in the construction industry in the 21st century.

To cope with the high levels of job vacancies, which have prevailed throughout 2022, the average salary of construction workers has increased by 6.3% over the past 12 months. “For contractors to hire more workers, I think they will have to raise wages even more,” AGC chief economist Ken Simonson told Construction Dive at the time. “I expect labor challenges to outlast material cost or supply chain issues.”

Related on Archinect: Architecture Billings Index in June Continues Growth as Backlog of Projects Remains Large

Meanwhile, rampant pessimism about the future of the U.S. economy has yet to translate into lower demand for architectural services according to the latest Billings Architecture Index, where a continued backlog of projects is supporting a positive growth of the profession.

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