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March Employment Maintains Momentum

Fri, April 05, 2024 7:39 PM | Anonymous

BLS’s March report continued job increases with 303,000 new positions. (Well above the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics).  As for construction, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped  to 5.4 percent for March, consistent with the beginning of seasonal work. [The new unemployment figure is down 1.6 basis points vs. February ‘24; and is 0.2 basis points better than last February’s level].  Overall, construction added 39,000 jobs in March, about double the average monthly gain of 19,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, employment increased in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (+16,000).
The general unemployment level, dropped 0.1 basis points to 3.8 percent. (“Unemployed persons” was also down to 6.4 million per the government count).  Meanwhile, the “labor force participation rate” rose to 62.7 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” also gained 0.2 basis points to 60.3 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their preCovid 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 $29.79 for private sector production and non-supervisory employees.     SEE Workforce Statistics Chart

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