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Employment for April Able to Stabilize

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

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