Jobs expansion slowed in April to 266,000 (after March’s numbers were also revised downward by 146,000) according the latest Labor Department figures (still above the 130-150,000 estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). Non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment slide to 7.7 percent in April reflecting the spring work season was beginning to expand. [The percentage was 0.9% down from March ‘21, while also seeing a huge drop-off from the pandemic/shutdown induced 16.6% figure last March 2020]. Employment in construction was unchanged over the month, up by 917,000 over the year, but still 196,000 below its February 2020 level.
The overall unemployment figure ticked-up to 6.1 percent i.e., 0.1 percent higher – the first monthly increase since the pandemic hit last year. (“Unemployed persons” was up a bit to 9.8 million per the government count). The “labor force participation” improved to 61.7 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate “typically” works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer viewed/counted as unemployed by the DOL). The “employment to population ratio” improved slightly to 57.9 percent. Average hourly earnings for employees moved up slightly to $25.45, fairly high due to the fact lower wage earners are being disproportionally impacted by slow process of fully opening the economy up across the country.
SEE Workforce Statistics Table