Job numbers in May continued their growth with another sizable move of 390,000 new positions according to the latest Labor Department figures. (Again, this is more than 2.0x above the 130-150,000 estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). The non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment dropped to 3.8 percent in May, consistent with improving seasonal weather trends. [The new figure is down 0.6 basis points vs. April ‘22 level; while being down by 2.9 points from the pandemic/shutdown impacted 6.7% figure of last May 2021]. Employment in construction increased by 36,000 in May, following no change in April. In May, job gains occurred in specialty trade contractors (+17,000) and heavy and civil engineering construction (+11,000). Overall, construction employment is 40,000 higher than in February 2020.
The general unemployment figure remained at 3.6 percent for the third month in a row. (“Unemployed persons” was 6.0 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” increased one tenth to 62.3 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 also experienced a slight increased up 0.1 to 60.1 percent. Average hourly earnings continued their long steady incremental climb, now standing at $27.33 for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees. In April, 7.4 percent of employed persons worked remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic/shutdowns, off only 0.3 percent from April.
SEE the Workforce Statistics Chart