Jobs expansion began to see the effects of the economy opening back-up across the country in June with the report of 850,000 new positions according the latest Labor Department figures (well above the 130-150,000 estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). However, non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment deteriorated to 7.5 percent in June “bucking” a recent monthly trend of improving figures. [The percentage was UP some 0.8% over May ’21 levels; while being down by 2.6 points from the pandemic/shutdown induced 10.1% figure of last June 2020]. Overall, construction employment change in June was (-7,000). During-the-month job losses in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-15,000) and heavy and civil engineering construction (-11,000) were partially offset by a gain in residential specialty trade contractors (+13,000). Employment in construction remains 238,000 lower than in February 2020.
The overall unemployment figure moved up one tick to 5.9 percent. (“Unemployed persons” also increased to 9.5 million per the government count). The “labor force participation” stayed the same at 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” also stayed the same at 58.0 percent. Average hourly earnings for employees moved-up slightly again to $25.68, signaling a possible trend to a higher norm in the post pandemic era, potentially due to a shortage of willing workers at this time.
SEE Workforce Statistics chart.