The post-shutdown rebound continued in July, seeing jobs expand by 1.8 million according the latest Labor Department figures. Construction non-seasonally adjusted levels continued to improve with unemployment decreasing to 8.9 percent [a drop of 1.2 percent points from June, but still up 5.1 percentage points from a year ago in July 2019 when it stood at only 3.8%]. Overall, employment in the construction industry grew by 20,000 positions in July (for a combined rebound of 631,000 jobs for May, June, & July); leaving the industry approximately 445,000 positions short of pre-shutdown levels in February of 2020).
The overall unemployment figure continued to recede from its record crest in April, slipping to 10.2 percent, down 0.9 percentage points since June. (“Unemployed persons” also fell 1.5 million to a total of 16.3 million per the government count). The “labor force participation” rate remained basically constant at 61.4 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)]. Conversely, the “employment to population ratio” rose to 55.1 percent. Average hourly earnings for employees remained at approximately $24.74 due mostly to the fact lower wage earners remain out of work in market segments still in partial shutdowns by government orders.
SEE Workforce Statistics Chart