As of the end of last year, there were more than 66,500 job openings in the national construction industry, according to a new survey just released by the Mill Valley, California-based employment research service Glassdoor.
That number is up a large 12.6 percent over the end of the year 2018, and underlines a growing gap between job demand and supply in the industry.
In fact, the percentage of new open jobs in the construction industry was among the largest in all industries, tying only with the consumer electronics field, which also saw a 12.6 percent increase in the number of new jobs available.
Other job-heavy industries, such as marketing and advertising, private security, and telecommunications, actually saw a decline in their percentage of open jobs.
The Glassdoor Job Market Report also shows that the nation’s 3.5 percent unemployment rate was the lowest the country has seen since December of 1969, with monthly job gains for last year coming in at around 176,000.
Despite those strong numbers, the report notes that actual wage growth in December declined to 2.9 percent, the lowest level since July of 2018, and that the monthly job gains for December were the lowest since 2011.
The slow-down in pay growth, says the report, “reverses the recent trend toward escalating pay growth we’ve seen as the labor market has tightened in recent years, and remains the one aspect of the job market that hasn’t fully recovered during the decade since the Great Recession.”
Looking at 2020, the report forecasts the two biggest risks facing the nation’s job market as “oil market instability due to escalating conflict in the Middle East, and continued trade tensions.”
The report additionally contends that the scheduled signing this week of a phase one U.S./China trade agreement will prove a positive step forward, “putting a welcome Band-Aid on the severe hit U.S. manufacturing and agriculture sectors have taken in recent months.”
By Garry Boulard
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