February 2023 job increases slowed to 311,000 new positions according to the latest Labor Department figures. (Still 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 stood at 6.6 percent in February, consistent with seasonal work trends. [The new figure is down a modest 0.3 basis points vs. Jan. ‘23 level; while only down 0.1 points from last February 2022]. Construction employment grew by 24,000 in February, in line with the average monthly growth of 20,000 over the prior 6 months.
The general unemployment rose 0.2 to 3.6 percent. (“Unemployed persons” went up to 5.9million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” improved by 0.1 to 62.5 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 no change staying at 60.2 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet]. Average hourly earnings have increased, now standing at $28.42 for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees.
SEE Workforce Statistics Chart