Today, the Department of Labor reported new jobs growth expanded at 164,000 in July. (This was slightly above the generally accepted approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month just to absorb the expanding workforce). Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment move down to 3.8 percent [or minus 0.2 basis point from June, while actually up 0.4 basis points from a year ago in July 2018 when it stood at 3.4%]. During the month, the construction industry remained approximately even for total employment rolls.
Overall unemployment remained at 3.7 percent bucking the labor force participation drag. (“Unemployed persons” added one-tenth to 6.1 million per the government count). As noted, the “labor force participation” rate improved one-tenth to 63.0 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate 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 viewed/counted as unemployed by the DOL)]. The “employment to population ratio” improved one-tenth as well to 60.7 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees has continued to increase in 2019, up for the year to 3.2%.
Workforce Statistics Table