Slowdown in number of workers quitting construction industry

A female construction worker in a yellow hi-vis vest and white hard hat, and a male worker in an orange hi-vis vest and blue hard hat inspect a construction site. Image: AdobeStock

The number of construction workers in the US quitting the industry has started to slow, as opportunities in rival industries dry up.

That’s according to new figures from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) which has studied data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

ABC found that there were 350,000 construction job openings in August. That figure was down 3,000 on July but still 5,000 above the same period a year ago.

A total of 167,000 workers quit the industry in August 2023, down 15,000 on the total in July and down 60,000 on the same period a year ago.

“The number of open, unfilled construction positions declined in August but remains higher than both one year ago and the pre-pandemic level,” said ABC chief economist Anirban Basu.

“Despite the year-over-year increase, the rate at which construction workers are quitting has slowed dramatically as labour constraints ease in other industries that compete for the same workers.

“With a majority of contractors looking to expand their staffing levels over the next six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index, any improvements in the labour supply will help contractors keep project costs under control.”


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