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One of the factors driving up construction costs shows little sign of abating: Employment in the industry is tightening as the sector begins to climb out of a COVID-19 trough, according to a new analysis from Marcum Construction Group.

The 2020 Marcum JOLTS Analysis of construction employment trends shows that job openings in the industry fell to 195,000 in December, which equates to approximately 2.6% of all available construction positions. The report, which relies on construction data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Turnover Survey, also notes that when the pandemic began, many experts hoped that job losses in March and April would mitigate skilled labor shortages the industry had experienced for years.

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