Hopefully, the swell in job numbers is finally signaling the economy is open for business (if the Delta variant doesn’t derail the gains) with a July report of 943,000 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). The non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment also saw marked improvement falling to 6.1 percent in July. [The percentage was down some 1.4% vs. June ’21 levels; while being down by 2.8 points from the pandemic/shutdown induced 8.9% figure of last July 2020]. Construction employment changed every little from the June figures, leaving total jobs approximately 238,000 lower than in February 2020.
The overall unemployment figure saw a half point (0.5) drop to 5.4 percent. (“Unemployed persons” also decreased to 8.7 million per the government count). “Labor force participation” moved slightly up 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” experienced a larger upward movement of 0.4 to 58.4 percent. Average hourly earnings for employees again moved-up slightly to $25.83, confirming to some extent a possible trend to a higher norm in the post pandemic era, potentially due to a shortage of willing workers at this time.
SEE the Workforce Statistics Chart.