The “V”-Shaped rebound continued in August with jobs expanding by 1.4 million according the latest Labor Department figures. Construction non-seasonally adjusted levels also improved with unemployment decreasing to 7.6 percent [a drop of 1.3 percentage points from July, now up 4.0 percentage points from a year ago in August 2019 when it stood at only 3.6%]. Employment in the construction industry is approximately 400,000 positions short of last August’s near full employment levels.
The overall unemployment figure continued to recede from its record crest in April, slipping to 8.4 percent, a healthy reduction of 1.8 percentage points in just one month. (“Unemployed persons” also fell 2.7 million to a total of 13.6 million per the government count). The “labor force participation” rate ticked-up to 61.7 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate “typically” 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” rose some 1.4 points to 56.5 percent. Average hourly earnings for employees was reported at $24.81, fairly high due mostly to the fact lower wage earners remain out of work in market segments still in partial shutdowns by government orders.
Workforce Statistics Chart