Breaking Down Q3 Construction Labor
When it comes to employment in the construction sector, the numbers can be a little misleading if you are not exactly sure how to interpret them. There are so many different positions that need to be filled, across a number of skilled trades, so the overall figures may look positive when, in fact, there is still a long way to go. This is the case for the present situation in which the construction industry finds itself.
THE OVERVIEW OF CONSTRUCTION UNEMPLOYMENT
The construction unemployment rate is now well lower than the pre-pandemic levels and the sector is filling more positions daily. Skilled trades, however, continue to struggle to recruit the younger generation to fill the gap left by early retirees from the pandemic.
THE BREAKDOWN OF THE NUMBERS FOR NONRESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION
From April to July, the construction unemployment rate fell, this past quarter, from 4.6 percent to 3.5 percent, which is well below the pre-pandemic mark of 5.5 percent. There is even a larger decline when looking at the entire first half of 2022, which began with a 7.1 percent mark for unemployment. This was the highest the rate reached since April of 2021 when it was at 7.7 percent.
RESIDENTIAL VS. NONRESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION HIRES
In July, total construction employment rose by 32,000 hires, however, the nonresidential construction sector has yet to surpass its pre-pandemic levels. Residential construction appears to be shouldering a large portion of the lift when it comes to new hires. As of June, nonresidential construction was still -2.9 percent below its pandemic level for employment, while residential was up 6 percent.
THE SKILLED TRADES SITUATION
The skilled trades, specifically, continue to struggle to fill positions that were vacated by older workers who opted for early retirement during the shutdown. The construction industry is still looking to add approximately 650,000 workers in 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This number is quite daunting when considering that less than 45,000 apprentices completed their programs in 2021.
To learn more about the current state of the construction industry, click here to download our Q3 2022 Construction Delivery Outlook.