According to a recent article, construction job openings soared in January 2024 marking over a 40% increase from the same period in 2023. Essentially there were approximately 120,000 more construction job openings at the end of January 2024 than 2023. Quit rates have lowered but apparently layoffs have increased. Essentially, jobs are open and the industry remains on its quest to fill critically needed construction labor positions.

As discussed in the article, economists believe the uptick in layoffs is due to effects of inclement seasonal weather and are temporary in nature. With an increase in governmental infrastructure spending across the United States, industry professionals have indicated a possible uptick in labor needs to fulfill this work. Also noteworthy is the looming Department of Labor ruling regarding the definition of an “independent contractor” which will undoubtedly impact long standing practices in the industry. Gray Reed’s Labor & Employment team has closely followed this topic and will continue to do so.  

Obtaining skilled construction labor these days is difficult enough, properly managing a company’s risk associated with it is a whole other issue. Thought must be given to the validity and effectiveness of your company’s employment agreements, non-compete language and employment practices. Special consideration must also be given to your company’s practices related to employees versus independent contractors or you will potentially face a new series of ramifications.  

If your company is hiring, firing or simply looking to better manage its employment risk, Gray Reed can help.  Our construction team works hand in hand with our labor & employment team to help clients effectively and efficiently manage their workforces — whether that means drafting and reviewing employment policies, contracts and compensation agreements, or defending clients against claims such as discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, etc.