The latest Department of Labor employment numbers appear to have rebounded from February’s increase, improving with an unexpected 196,000 new jobs. (It is generally accepted that it takes approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month just to absorb the expanding workforce). Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment slipping to 5.2 percent [down 1.0 full basis point from February and a “huge” 2.2 basis points lower than a year ago in March 2018 when it stood at 7.4%]. The construction industry has added a net 38,000 employees to its rolls since the beginning of the year.
Overall unemployment stayed constant at 3.8 percent. (As a result “unemployed persons” also stayed the same at 6.2 million per the government count). However, the “labor force participation” rate slide downwards to 63.0 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures, meaning: as it deteriorates, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer viewed/counted as unemployed by the DOL)]. The “employment to population ratio” also fell but only one tenth basis points to 60.6 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees has continued to increase in 2019, up already for the year 3.2%.
SEE the 2019 Construction Employment/Unemployment vs. Overall Unemployment Statistics