Construction job openings continued to rise to a 107-month high, with a rate of 2.8% in February, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Tuesday morning.
This is a 50 basis-point gain compared to a downward revised 2.3% in January and also a 50 basis-point leap from February 2015. After six years of recovery, the construction job opening rate has been very close to the late 2005/early 2006 level , but is still lower than the pre-recession peak of 3.5% seen in February 2007. After the housing bubble burst, construction job openings once dipped to the lowest point of 0.3% in April 2009.
More hires were made in the construction industry in February, with the rate of hires rising to a seasonally adjusted 4.9%. This is a 30 basis-point gain month-over-month but a 40 basis-point loss year-over-year. Construction hires were at their highest in April 2005 with a reading of 7.4%, but later dropped to the lowest point of 4.2% in February 2007.
The rate of total construction separations--including quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations--went up to a seasonally adjusted 4.6%, up 40 basis points from January and down 20 basis points from last February. Construction separations once reached a high point of 7.3% in March 2010, during the aftermath of the housing disaster.
The gap between total construction hires and total separations narrowed to a rate of 0.3% from last month's 0.4%, suggesting a slower-paced but still positive net gain in February's construction employment. In this month, a total of 22,000 people were added to the construction workforce.