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Unemployment Levels Remain at Historic Lows in May

Wed, June 12, 2019 9:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Department of Labor reported employment numbers that again matched or exceeded levels not seen in fifty years, with new jobs growth expanding another 75,000 in May.  (While below the generally accepted of approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month just to absorb the expanding workforce, it may indicate a near “full-employment” economy).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment tumbling to below the overall average at only 3.2 percent [down a dramatic 1.5 basis point from March and a “solid” 1.2 basis points lower than a year ago in May 2018 when it stood at 4.4%]. The construction industry has added another 4,000 employees to its rolls in May.

Overall unemployment dropped remained at a fifty year low of 3.6 percent.  (As a result “unemployed persons” was steady at 5.9 million per the government count).  The “labor force participation” rate continued was constant at 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” also remained the same at 60.6 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees has continued to increase in 2019, up for the year 3.1%.

Workforce Statistics Chart here

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