The shortage in construction labor across the country is starting to ease up, but the number of job openings still remains near historic levels.
The number of available construction jobs in the United States fell to 154,000 in May, down from 238,000 in July 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported. Still, hiring isn’t expanding fast enough, Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, told the Journal.
The slight decline in job openings could be a sign that employers are finding it marginally easier to find workers. But it could also be an indication that developers are putting projects on hold due to fear of over-saturating the multifamily construction market.
Last month, the Journal reported on a survey that found that more than one-third of contractors said they’ve had to turn work down to keep up with project volume. In New York City, the average number of construction workers soared to 146,200 last year, marking the first time employment in the city has exceeded 140,000 in at least four decades. Still, other reports have indicated that the skilled construction labor force is “overstretched.” [WSJ] — Kathryn Brenzel