Job numbers nosedived in November to less than half the growth of the previous month, down to only 210,000 new positions according the latest Labor Department figures. (This is barely above the 130-150,000 estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). The non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment moved-up to 4.7 percent in November, in keeping with seasonal weather trends seen in past years. [The new figure is up 0.7 basis points vs. October ’21 level; while being down by 2.6 points from the pandemic/shutdown induced 7.3% figure of last November 2020]. Construction employment rose by 31,000 in November, following gains of a similar magnitude in the prior 2 months. In November, employment continued to trend up in specialty trade contractors (+13,000), construction of buildings (+10,000), and heavy and civil engineering construction (+8,000). Construction employment is 115,000 below its February 2020 level.
The overall unemployment figure continues to recede down (0.4) to 4.2 percent. (“Unemployed persons” also decreased to 6.9 million per the government count). “Labor force participation” improved going up 0.2 points to 61.8 percent. [BUT 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 counted as unemployed by the DOL). The “employment to population ratio” experienced an upward movement of 0.4 to 59.2 percent. Average hourly earnings for employees again moved-up to $26.40, confirming to some extent a possible stabilizing of hourly wages at a higher norm in the post pandemic era, potentially due to a shortage of willing workers at this time.
SEE Workforce Statistics Chart.