With the end of the pandemic nearing, construction activity is resuming and the industry is struggling to fulfill demand due to labor shortages. According to the 2020 Marcum JOLTS Analysis, total hires and job openings were down only slightly from 2019, however, the number of job openings exceeded 195,000 by the end of 2020.
“When the pandemic began, some thought (and hoped) that the massive job losses observed in March and April would mitigate the skilled labor shortages that have frustrated construction firms for years,” the report’s authors wrote. “That simply hasn’t happened to any meaningful degree.” The labor shortages are also caused by the heightened number of employees quitting, with 13,000 having quit their jobs in 2020. Three trends for the construction industry to monitor moving forward include whether or not workers who quit or were laid off moved to another industry, whether nonresidential construction will recover like residential construction did, and whether public construction will continue.