The workforce rebound in November slowed adding just 245,000 jobs according the latest Labor Department figures. Non-seasonally adjusted construction saw a slight winter up-tick in unemployment to 7.3 percent [an increase of 0.5 percentage points from October, while being up 3.9 percentage points from a year ago in November 2019 when it stood at 4.4%]. Generally, construction gained 27,000 jobs in November, but employment is still 279,000 below its pre-COVID February level. In November, employment rose in residential specialty trade contractors (+14,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (+10,000).
The overall unemployment figure dropped to 6.7 percent, a reduction of (0.2) percent in a month, while tumbling 8.0 percentage points since its peak in April. (“Unemployed persons” also fell 400K to a total of 10.7 million per the government count). The “labor force participation” rate decreased to 61.5 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” also fell to 57.3 percent. Average hourly earnings for employees was reported roughly constant at $24.87, fairly high due to the fact lower wage earners are being disproportionally impacted by the renewed partial government mandated shutdowns.
See Workforce Statistics Chart for details.