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  • Thu, June 06, 2024 9:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BLS’s May report moved more briskly increasing by 272,000 new positions. (Well above the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics).  As for construction, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to only 3.9 percent for May, consistent with strong seasonal workloads. [The new unemployment figure is down 1.3 basis points vs. April ‘24; but is worse some 0.4 basis points from last May’s level of 3.5%].  Overall, construction saw little change from the April numbers.
     
    The general unemployment level, increased another 0.1 basis points crossing over to 4.0 percent. (“Unemployed persons” was also up to 6.6 million per the government count).  Meanwhile, the “labor force participation rate” fell to 62.5 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 counted as unemployed by the DOL).  The “employment to population ratio” fell another 0.1 basis points to 60.1 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continued to increase to $29.99 for private sector production and non-supervisory employees.     SEE Workforce Statistics Chart

  • Wed, May 08, 2024 9:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    April’s report by BLS showed a more modest increase of 175,000 new positions. (Slightly above the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics).  As for construction, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent for April, consistent with the seasonal work flow. [The new unemployment figure is down 0.2 basis points vs. March ‘24; but is worse by a large 1.1 basis points from last April’s level of only 4.1%].  Construction employment changed little in April (+9,000), following an increase of 40,000 in March. Over the prior 12 months, construction had added an average of 22,000 jobs per month.
     
    The general unemployment level, increased by 0.1 basis points back to 3.9 percent. (“Unemployed persons” was up slightly to 6.5 million per the government count).  Meanwhile, the “labor force participation rate” stayed the same at 62.7 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 counted as unemployed by the DOL). However, the “employment to population ratio” fell 0.1 basis points to 60.2 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be around 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continued to increase after a solid 2023, and now stands at $29.85 for private sector production and non-supervisory employees.  

    SEE Construction Workforce Statistics Chart

  • Thu, April 25, 2024 3:15 PM | Anonymous

    The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has reported that real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of only 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2024, according to the “advance” estimate. In the fourth quarter of 2023, real GDP increased at a much more encouraging pace of 3.4 percent. The small growth in the first quarter primarily reflected modest increases in consumer spending and housing investment, which were partly offset by a decrease in inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased as well.

  • Fri, April 05, 2024 7:39 PM | Anonymous

    BLS’s March report continued job increases with 303,000 new positions. (Well above the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics).  As for construction, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped  to 5.4 percent for March, consistent with the beginning of seasonal work. [The new unemployment figure is down 1.6 basis points vs. February ‘24; and is 0.2 basis points better than last February’s level].  Overall, construction added 39,000 jobs in March, about double the average monthly gain of 19,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, employment increased in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (+16,000).
     
    The general unemployment level, dropped 0.1 basis points to 3.8 percent. (“Unemployed persons” was also down to 6.4 million per the government count).  Meanwhile, the “labor force participation rate” rose to 62.7 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 counted as unemployed by the DOL).  The “employment to population ratio” also gained 0.2 basis points to 60.3 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their preCovid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continued to increase after a solid 2023, and now stands at $29.79 for private sector production and non-supervisory employees.     SEE Workforce Statistics Chart

  • Tue, March 12, 2024 2:14 PM | Anonymous

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the nation’s inflation rate rose to 3.2% for the year ending in February. The news on the consumer price index (CPI), could delay the Federal Reserve’s decision to reverse course and start the process of gradual cuts to interest rates – pushing back such plans a few months at best. During the past two years, the Fed has worked to drive down inflation through a series of rapid/aggressive hikes to interest rates. The stubborn upward movement in inflation reported for February ‘24 has not only stymie hopes of interest rate cuts, but also may complicate the ability to orchestrate a “soft landing” where the high rates don’t damage economic activity. [NOTE: On a month-to-month basis, CPI inflation rose by 0.4%, which was in line with projections; while “core inflation,” a measure that excludes the volatile categories of food and energy, fell a tenth of a percentage point to a yearly basis of 3.8% ending in February].

  • Fri, March 08, 2024 4:19 PM | Anonymous

    The February BLS report was a mixed bag, with an increase of 275,000 new positions. (Well above the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics).  As for construction, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate creeped up to 7.0 percent for February, the highest in over two years. [The new unemployment figure is up only 0.1 basis points vs. January ‘24; but is 0.4 basis points above last February’s level].  Overall, employment continued to trend up in construction (+23,000), in line with the average monthly gain of 18,000 over the prior 12 months; with heavy and civil engineering construction adding 13,000 jobs.    
     
    However, the general unemployment level, increased 0.2 basis points to 3.9 percent. (“Unemployed persons” was up to 6.5 million per the government count).  Meanwhile, the “labor force participation rate” stayed steady at 62.5 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 counted as unemployed by the DOL).  The “employment to population ratio” slipped down by a slight 0.1 basis to 60.1 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continued to increase after a solid 2023, and now stands at $29.71 for private sector production and non-supervisory employees.

    SEE Workforce Statistics Chart.

  • Fri, February 16, 2024 8:52 AM | Anonymous

    U.S. Department of Labor reported that wholesale prices rose more than expected in January. The producer price index (PPI), a measure of prices received by producers of domestic goods and services, rose 0.3% for the month, the biggest move since August ‘23. Economists had expected a smaller rise of just 0.1 percent. The biggest drivers of the increase were prices of services, which rose 0.6 percent from the prior month, the largest advance since July of 2023. Core producer prices (excluding food and energy), increased 0.5%, also much higher than expected. The core element of (PPI) better approximates the costs associated with construction matters vs. the broader consumer price index (CPI). With regard to CPI, this latest DOL report comes just days since that measure’s increase showed inflation holding higher despite Fed efforts to moderate the index during the past year. [I.e., CPI was up 3.1% from a year ago, well ahead of the Fed’s goal for 2% inflation].

  • Mon, February 05, 2024 10:32 AM | Anonymous

    BLS’s January 2024 report leaped out of the gates to start the year off with an increase of 353,000 new positions. (Well above the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). But, not all the news was as rosy when broken down, particularly with the surge of “part-time” work replacing full-time jobs (also reflected in the decrease in workweek hours down to 34.1), thus masking potential slowing.  As for construction, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate came-in at 6.9 percent for January. [The new unemployment figure is up 2.5 basis points vs. December; but is identical to January 2022’s number].  Currently, employment showed little change over the month in construction like some other major industries.  
     
    The general unemployment level, remained unchanged for the third month in a row, at 3.7 percent. (“Unemployed persons” was down a bit at 6.1 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” stayed steady at 62.5 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 counted as unemployed by the DOL).  The “employment to population ratio” rose by a slight 0.1 basis to 60.2 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continued to increase after a solid 2023, and now stands at $29.66 for private sector production and non-supervisory employees.   SEE Workforce Statistics Chart  

  • Mon, January 29, 2024 2:48 PM | Anonymous

    The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported: Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023 (table 1), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 4.9 percent.

    The GDP estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency. The "second" estimate for the fourth quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on February 28, 2024.  The increase in real GDP reflected increases in consumer spending, exports, state and local government spending, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, private inventory investment, and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased as well.


  • Mon, January 08, 2024 12:42 PM | Anonymous

    BLS’s December 2023 report showed an increase of 216,000 new positions. (Comfortably above the 130-150,000 range estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). However, the non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rate came-in at 4.4 percent for December. [The new unemployment figure is down 0.4 basis points vs. November; but the same as in December 2022].  In December, construction employment continued to trend up (+17,000); with nonresidential building construction having increased by 8,000. For the year, construction added an average of 16,000 jobs per month in 2023, down from the 2022 average monthly gain of 22,000.
     
    The holiday season didn’t seem to impact the general unemployment level, with it remaining unchanged at 3.7 percent. (Similarly, “unemployed persons” was the same at 6.3 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” slipped 0.3 basis points to 62.5 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 counted as unemployed by the DOL).  The “employment to population ratio” also dropped 0.3 to 60.1 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ].  Average hourly earnings continued to increase, now stands at $29.42 for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees. 

    SEE Workforce Statistics Chart for comparisons.

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