U.S. Total Payroll Employment Gains Accelerated in June

June’s employment gains accelerated while the unemployment rate ticked up. Moreover, employment in residential construction kept increasing with the lower unemployment rate.

According to the Employment Situation for June 2017 reported by the BLS, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 222,000 in June, faster than the 152,000 gains in May. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, from a 16-year low of 4.3%. The labor force participation rate increased by 0.1 percentage point to 62.8% in June.

In June, while the numbers of employed persons and unemployed persons increased by 245,000 and 116,000, respectively, the number of persons not in the labor force declined by 170,000. The decrease in the number of persons not in the labor force contributed to the higher labor force participation rate.

Monthly employment data, released by the BLS Establishment Survey, also indicate that home builder and remodeler employment increased by 6,000. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction now was close to 5,000 a month.

Residential construction employment is now 2.695 million, broken down as 760,000 builders and 1.93 million residential specialty trade contractors.

Over the last 12 months home builders and remodelers have added 115,600 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point of industry employment following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 712,800 positions.

In June, the unemployment rate for construction workers declined to 5.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis, from the 5.9% in May. The unemployment rate for the construction occupation had been on a general decline since reaching a peak rate of 22% in February 2010.

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