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New Year Employment Leaps!

Mon, February 05, 2024 10:32 AM | Anonymous

BLS’s January 2024 report leaped out of the gates to start the year off with an increase of 353,000 new positions. (Well above the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). But, not all the news was as rosy when broken down, particularly with the surge of “part-time” work replacing full-time jobs (also reflected in the decrease in workweek hours down to 34.1), thus masking potential slowing.  As for construction, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate came-in at 6.9 percent for January. [The new unemployment figure is up 2.5 basis points vs. December; but is identical to January 2022’s number].  Currently, employment showed little change over the month in construction like some other major industries.  
The general unemployment level, remained unchanged for the third month in a row, at 3.7 percent. (“Unemployed persons” was down a bit at 6.1 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” stayed steady at 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” rose by a slight 0.1 basis to 60.2 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 continued to increase after a solid 2023, and now stands at $29.66 for private sector production and non-supervisory employees.   SEE Workforce Statistics Chart  

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