The latest Department of Labor employment numbers appear to have matched or exceeded levels not seen in fifty years, with new jobs growth expanding another 263,000 in April. (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 only 4.7 percent [down 0.5 basis point from March and a “hefty” 1.8 basis points lower than a year ago in April 2018 when it stood at 6.5%]. The construction industry has added another 33,000 employees to its rolls in April alone.
Overall unemployment dropped two-tenths to a fifty year low of 3.6 percent. (As a result “unemployed persons” also slide to 5.8 million per the government count). The “labor force participation” rate continued to slip downwards to 62.8 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” stayed constant at 60.6 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees has continued to increase in 2019, up for the year 3.2%.
See the latest 2019 Workforce Statistics here.