January 2023 job numbers increased with a strong 517,000 new positions according to 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 jumped to 6.9 percent in January, consistent with seasonal work trends. [The new figure is up a fairly large 2.5 basis points vs. Dec. ‘22 level; while being down by 0.2 points from last January 2022]. Construction added 25,000 jobs in January, reflecting an employment gain in specialty trade contractors (+22,000). On average, employment in the construction industry grew by 22,000 per month in 2022..
The general unemployment fell 0.1 to 3.4 percent. (“Unemployed persons” stayed at 5.7 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” improved by 0.1 to 62.4 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 a small increase to 60.2 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet]. Average hourly earnings have increased, now standing at $28.26 for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees.
See Workforce Statistics Chart