Association officials welcomed the widespread job gains but cautioned that contractors in many areas are having trouble finding enough qualified workers to return to pre-pandemic levels amid tight labor market conditions.
“Construction employment is now increasing in most areas after a rough first year of the pandemic,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “But contractors recently have had more unfilled positions at the end of each month than they have been able to fill.”
Job openings in construction totaled 384,000 at the end of January, an increase of 81,000 or nearly 27 percent from January 2021, according to the government’s latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. That figure exceeded the 259,000 employees that construction firms were able to hire in January, implying firms would have added over twice as many workers if they had been able to fill all openings, Simonson pointed out.