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ECONOMIC OUTLOOK DAMPENS
Construction Hiring Persists
Despite several industry headwinds, including high borrowing costs, labor scarcity, and inflation, contractors continue to add workers. In Canada, construction employment inched lower in September (-0.2 percent) but is up 6.0 percent year over year, well above the increase across all industries. The U.S. Construction industry added 19,000 jobs in September, a 0.2 percent increase. Total industry employment is up 3.9 percent year over year, and that increase would undoubtedly be larger if not for acute labor shortages.
In August, the number of open, unfilled U.S. construction jobs increased by 54,000, further evidence that the demand for construction workers continues to exceed the supply. Put another way, 5 percent of all construction jobs were unfilled in August, higher than at any point between 2001, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking it, and 2021. Despite these shortages, contractors have every intention of hiring. According to Associated Builders and Contractors’ Construction Confidence Index, 59.0 percent of contractors intend to increase their staffing levels over the next six months.
Click here to download this month’s full economic update
(which discusses: workforce, inflation, potential recession, construction industry spending and more.)