As the economy continues to find its bearings after a long and painful pandemic, positive signs are emerging from the construction sector, which added more jobs in July than in the previous month and continues on a steady upward trend.
In its August 2022 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the construction industry hired 384,000 workers in July. That is 32,000 more than were hired in June, and a net gain of 34,000, which is calculated by factoring in the number of workers leaving a job either voluntarily or by termination, otherwise known as “separations.” The number of hires was also almost 50,000 higher than July 2021.
At 375,000, the number of job openings is tracking closely to the number of hires. That figure also represents a month-over-month increase of 22,000 and a yearly increase of almost 40,000.
The hire rate, which represents the number of hires for the entire month as a percent of total employment, is also on the increase. At 5.0%, the hire rate in construction is at its highest level since March, when it reached 5.2%.
For a more detailed picture of construction employment, the BLS breaks down the industry into various sectors, including residential and nonresidential, heavy and civil engineering and specialty trade contractors. Specialty contractors showed the largest increase by adding 22,000 jobs in July. That increase was almost evenly split between residential and nonresidential.
Building construction was the next highest, with nearly 8,000 jobs. Nonresidential led the way, with nearly 5,000 jobs added versus slightly less than 3,000 jobs added in the residential category.
The BLS notes that construction employment is up from pre-pandemic levels, with 82,000 more than in February 2020.
Header image by Chandler Denise for Unsplash.