Jobs moved upward in BLS’s May 2023 report, increasing by 339,000 new positions according to the latest 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 slipped to 3.5 percent in May, consistent with the expanding seasonal spring work trends. [The new unemployment figure is down 0.6 basis points vs. April; while also down 0.3 points from last year, in May 2022]. Construction added 25,000 jobs, including 11,000 jobs in heavy and civil engineering construction. Over the prior 12 months, construction had added an average of 17,000 jobs per month.
General unemployment rose 0.3 to 3.7 percent. (“Unemployed persons” turned upward 0.4 points to 6.1 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” stayed at 62.6 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). However, the “employment to population ratio” decreased 0.1 to 60.3 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ]. Average hourly earnings continue to increase, now standing at $28.75 for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees. SEE WORKFORCE STATISTICS CHART