Construction Jobs Are Booming, as Worker Interest Declines
Construction job postings on Indeed are at a six-year high for this time of year, while job seeker interest in construction is declining.
Winter weather is (slowly) receding and Spring is around the corner. That means construction activity is heating up. Already at an all-time high, construction spending is expected to expand further. On Indeed, the share of construction job postings during the first week of March is higher now than at similar points in the past six years. Meanwhile, the share of construction searches by job seekers is trending downward.
Construction jobs are growing briskly according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs in the industry were up by 226,000 in January 2018 from a year before. Construction spending is also up 3.2% from a year ago, and total spending is at an all-time high of nearly $1.3 trillion. In another sign the US economy is in the midst of a building boom, framing lumber prices are up sharply year-over-year.
During this boom, the biggest challenge is finding skilled workers, says the CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors, an industry trade group. On Indeed, construction job postings keep rising while construction-related job searches have been trending downward. Job seekers have a counter-seasonal search pattern, with peak searches in the winter (when jobs dry up) and lows in the summer (when most workers are already employed). But compared to the first week of March in years past, the share of construction searches is down.
As the construction season kicks into high gear, the market for workers may worsen—with rising postings and declining search activity. Staffing construction crews might be tough this summer.
Andrew Flowers was previously an Economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, focusing on the US labor market. Prior to Indeed, he was the quantitative editor and economics writer at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver’s data-driven news site; and before that, he was an economic analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. As a freelance journalist, he has written for The Economist. He has a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago.