Jobs expansion picked-up in May to 559,000 new jobs according the latest Labor Department figures (comfortably above the 130-150,000 estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). Non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment improved to 6.7 percent in May reflecting the expanding reach of the spring work season across the lower 48 states. [The percentage was down 1.0% from April ‘21, while also dropping-off 6.0 points from the pandemic/shutdown induced 12.7% figure last May 2020]. However in total numbers, construction employment edged down in May (-20,000), reflecting a job loss in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-17,000). Employment in construction is still 225,000 lower than its February 2020 level.
The overall unemployment figure slide to 5.8 percent i.e., 0.3 percent lower. (“Unemployed persons” also dipped to 9.3 million per the government count). The “labor force participation” deteriorated a tick to 61.6 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” however improved slightly to 58.0 percent. Average hourly earnings for employees moved-up slightly again to $25.60, signaling a possible trend to a higher norm in the post pandemic era, potentially due to a shortage of willing workers at this time.
Workforce Statistics Chart