Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 224,000 in June, while the unemployment rate edged up to 3.7%. Residential construction employment increased by 6,000 in June, after an increase of 3,800 jobs in May. The total construction industry (both residential and nonresidential) employment reached to 7.5 million, by adding 21,000 jobs in June.
According to the Employment Situation Summary for June, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 224,000, following an increase of 72,000 jobs in May. The May increase was revised downward from its original estimate of a 75,000 gain. Monthly employment growth has averaged 172,000 per month for the first six months of 2019, compared with the average monthly growth of 223,000 over all of 2018. Over the past twelve months, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2.3 million, with the average monthly growth of 192,000.
The unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage points to 3.7% in June. It was the sixteenth consecutive month at or below 4%. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate, the proportion of the population either looking for a job or already with a job, ticked up by 0.1 percentage points to 62.9% in June. The number of persons unemployed was little changed at 6.0 million and the number of persons employed increased by 247,000 in June.
Additionally, monthly employment data released by the BLS Establishment Survey indicates that employment in the overall construction sector increased by 21,000 in June. The number of residential construction jobs rose by 6,000 in June, following an increase of 3,800 jobs in May.
Residential construction employment now stands at 2.9 million in June, broken down as 835,000 builders and 2.1 million residential specialty trade contractors. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction is 5,800 a month. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers added 78,000 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 923,800 positions.
In June, the unemployment rate for construction workers rose to 5.0% on a seasonally adjusted basis, from 3.7% in May. The unemployment rate for the construction sector has been trending downwards since February 2010 and remains historically low.