Job numbers in February exploded by a sizable 678,000 new positions according to the latest Labor Department figures. (This is more than 4x above the 130-150,000 estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). The non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment remained elevated at 6.7 percent in February, in keeping with seasonal weather trends. [The new figure is down slightly by 0.4 basis points vs. January ‘22 level; while being down by 2.9 points from the pandemic/shutdown induced 9.6% figure of last February 2021]. Construction added 60,000 jobs in February, following little change in the prior month. About three-fourths of the over-the-month job gain occurred in specialty trade contractors, with increases in both the residential (+24,000) and nonresidential (+20,000) components. Construction employment is still slightly below (-11,000) its February 2020 level.
The overall unemployment figure fell back below four to 3.8 percent. (“Unemployed persons” also slipped to 6.3 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” stayed constant at 62.2 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 counted as unemployed by the DOL). The “employment to population ratio” experienced an upward movement of 0.2 to 59.9 percent. Average hourly earnings for employees has stabilized at $26.94.
SEE the Workforce Statistics Chart