A closer look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for November, with a specific focus on the construction sector and additional analysis provided by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), reveals that the construction labor market in November experienced another month of shrinking job openings, as the housing market continued to cool.

The count of open construction positions fell from 390,000 in October to 388,000 in November. The November reading is actually higher than the estimate of 360,000 a year ago, indicating that the skilled labor crisis in the US construction sector remains a persistent problem.

The construction job openings rate was unchanged in November, holding steady at 4.8%. The data series high of 5.5% was recorded in April 2022.

Hiring in the construction sector softened further in November to a rate of 4.0%, down from a rate of 4.3% in October. In comparison, in May 2020, as the building and remodeling sector recovered from the start of the pandemic, the hiring rate reached 10.4%.

In November, construction sector layoffs held steady at a rate of 1.7%. In April 2020, the layoff rate was 10.8%. Since that time, the sector layoff rate has remained below 3%, with the exception of February 2021 due to weather effects. The number of layoffs in construction fell back to 129,000, compared to 150,000 in November 2021.

The number of construction quits in November was 138,000, which was significantly lower than the 215,000 reported in November 2021.