The number of job openings in the construction industry rose to 184,000 in August, a 18% drop compared to upward-revised 225,000 this July, according to the JOLTS release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Wednesday morning. Year-over-year, however, August's figure still marks a nearly 22% gain.
Construction hiring has been on the rise for two straight months, reaching a level of 335,000 this August, a 2% gain month-over-month and 4% increase year-over-year. Hires had been on the soft side since December 2014 when the rate reached 7%, but lately have shown signs of picking up entering the second half of this year.
The rate of total separations--including quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations--closed the month with a seasonally adjusted 4.8%, up 40 basis points from July, but down 10 basis points from last August. Construction separations once reached a high point of 7.3% in March 2010 before trending down in the past a few years, but have shown signs of picking up again since the beginning of this year.
After narrowing for several months, the gap between total construction hires and total separations further closed in August, suggesting slowing future employment growth. In this month, about 17,000 people were added to the construction workforce.
More coverage of the BLS JOLTS report from BUILDER >>