Construction job openings continued to gain momentum in March with a seasonally adjusted rate of 3.0%, reaching the highest point in 108 months, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Tuesday morning.
This is a 10 basis-point gain compared to an upward revised 2.9% in February and a 30 basis-point leap from March 2015. Construction job openings once dipped to the lowest point of 0.3% in April 2009 after the housing bubble burst. After six years of recovery, the current construction job opening rate has surpassed the level seen between late 2005 and early 2006, and is second only to the 3.4% and 3.5% seen in January and February 2007, respectively.
Construction hires remained steady in March at a seasonally adjusted 5.1%, a 20 basis-point gain year-over-year. Construction hires were at their highest in April 2005 with a reading of 7.4%, before they 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 5.0%, up 10 basis points from February but down 30 basis points from last March. Construction separations once reached a high point of 7.3% in March 2010 during the aftermath of the housing disaster, but have been trending down in the past a few months.
The gap between total construction hires and total separations further narrowed to a rate of 0.3% from last month's 0.4%, suggesting a slow but still positive net gain in March's construction employment. In this month, a total of 10,000 people were added to the construction workforce.
More coverage of the BLS JOLTS report from BUILDER >>