Women Enter the Labor Force in June

According to the Employment Situation reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in June, jobs increased by 213,000 and the unemployment rate rose to 4.0% due to the increase in the number of unemployed persons. The labor force participation rate rose by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9%.

The release also indicates that the number of construction jobs rose by 13,000 in June, after the 29,000 increase in May. Residential construction employment rose to 2.82 million in June, broken down as 797,000 builders and 2 million residential specialty trade contractors.

Over the month of June, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 213,000, after the increase of 244,000 jobs in May. The May increase was revised up from its original estimate of a 223,000 increase. Job gains have averaged 215,000 a month this year, faster than the first six months’ averages of 184,000 in 2017 and 181,000 in 2016.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate rose to 4.0% in June, 0.2 percentage point higher than the rate in May. In June, the number of unemployed persons increased by 499,000 while the number of employed persons increased by 102,000. In sum, the number of people in the labor force rose by 601,000, compared to the 12,000 increase in May. The increase in the unemployment rate largely reflected the increase in the number of unemployed persons. Moreover, the increase in the labor force and the decrease in those not in the labor force (-413,000) accounted for an increase in the labor force participation rate, from 62.7% in May to 62.9% in June.

As discussed in the previous blog, the decline in the labor force participation rate is associated with the decrease in the unemployment rate following the recession. In June, both the labor force participation rate and the unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percentage point. During the past six months, the labor force participation rate hasn’t shown a very clear trend as the unemployment rate trended downward.

Figure 3 below presents the distribution of the changes in the labor force by race, gender and age in June. The 601,000 gains in the labor force included 208,000 Asian workers, 164,000 Hispanic workers, 96,000 white workers, 68,000 black workers and other multiple races’ workers. Among the gender group, female workers increased by 702,000 while male workers decreased by 101,000. The number of people in the labor force in each age group rose variously. The workers aged 35-44 years old in the labor force increased by 163,000, the largest increase among the all age groups. It was followed by the workers aged 25-34 years old (85,000), 55 and over (80,000), 16-19 years old (74,000), 45-54 years old (47,000) and 20-24 years old (28,000).

Monthly employment data released by the BLS Establishment Survey indicates that the number of construction jobs rose by 13,000 in June, after the 29,000 increase in May.

Residential construction employment rose to 2.82 million in June, broken down as 797,000 builders and 2 million residential specialty trade contractors. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction is 10,550 a month. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers have added 133,800 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 834,900 positions.

In June, the unemployment rate for construction workers rose to 5.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis, from the 5.0% in May. The unemployment rate for construction workers dropped to the lowest rate since 2001, as show in the figure below.



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3 replies

  1. Women, or Female Workers, would be the correct verbiage for the title. Using “Females” as a noun in reference to people is viewed by many to be offensive. The article body gets this correct by using “female workers.”

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