Where Has the Time Gone?

Sept. 12, 2018

I remember clearly the 2008 financial crisis. The broadcast industry was one of the first to react by laying off hundreds of reporters, producers, directors, and engineers, many of whom had decades of experience in the business. I was counted among them and lost my job. At least for me, a lot has changed in the past decade.

A lot has changed in the construction industry as well, but according to a recent Yahoo! Finance article, the industry “is still dealing with the ramifications” of the recession. One major tell is the ratio in unemployment to job vacancy that was calculated by an Indeed study of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The article says, “The data, which is from April through June 2018, showed that there were nearly two openings for every job seeker. Nick Bunker, an economist with Indeed’s Hiring Lab, attributes it to overhang from the Great Recession.

The 2008 financial crisis ‘was a huge shock to the [construction] industry, and they’re still dealing with the ramifications from it,’ Bunker told Yahoo Finance.”

Between 2007 and 2011, the construction industry shed more than 2.2 million jobs. Bunker noted that the unemployed-to-vacancy ratios ‘spiked crazy high’ during that time. It has since recovered, though the years since have been about making up lost ground.”

Construction industry unemployment numbers have been improving over the past year or so but we’re nowhere near having a tight labor supply.

Back to the Yahoo! Finance article:

“The following chart, which spans from April through June 2018, represents the relative amount of people who are unemployed but looking for a job versus the number of what a company would like to hire but hasn’t done so yet.

The higher the number, the more job openings there are in the industry.”

(screenshot/Hiring Lab at Indeed)

The overall labor market has a current ratio of 1.0 which translates into there being more available jobs than there are unemployed people.

As you can see the construction industry has nearly double the ratio.

The article reports, “‘The job market is hot,’ Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, stated in thADP National Employment Report. ‘Employers are aggressively competing to hold onto their existing workers and to find new ones. Small businesses are struggling the most in this competition, as they increasingly can’t fill open positions.’”

One data point that drew a lot of attention in the Indeed study was that even though there was an increase in job openings, there was the lack of an increase in wage growth.

Many things can be healed in the span of ten years. Others may need some additional help and support getting back to normal.

What have been your experiences hiring and affording skilled workers? Please let us know in the comments section below.