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July 2023 Market Trends Report

Two construction workers in orange hard hats reach for the same hook in the middle of the frame.

The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in June while the unemployment rate ticked down to 3.6 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation Summary.

Some industrial sectors reported gains for  employees on payrolls in June, including in construction (+23,000) and manufacturing (+7,000). Meanwhile, transportation & warehousing (-6,900) continued its struggles as the warehousing and storage subsector lost 6,900 jobs in June.

According to BLS, employment growth in the construction sector came from growth reported in the nonresidential building construction (+5,400), heavy and civil engineering construction (+7,300) and residential specialty trades contractors (+10,000) subsectors. 

While most nondurable goods manufacturers (-8,000) employers reported slight losses in June, durable goods manufacturers – notably transportation equipment manufacturers (+7,200) and machinery manufacturers (+3,100) – picked up the slack for the manufacturing industry as a whole.

JOLTS Report shows job openings fall again

The latest Job Opportunities and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report, which runs a month behind the BLS Employment Situation Summary, showed there were 9.8 million job openings on the last business day of May. Within separations, quits (4.0 million) increased, while layoffs and discharges (1.6 million) changed little.

In May, job openings increased in construction (+19,000) and transportation, warehousing and utilities (+41,000). Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector saw job openings fall to 604,000 in May – the lowest monthly total reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics since February 2021. 

Nondurable goods manufacturers reported 227,000 job openings in May, which is the lowest total since January 2021 and as close the industry has seen to pre-pandemic averages in more than two years.

In May, the job openings rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 5.9 percent, wiping out an the previous month’s increases.

While job openings ticked down in manufacturing, there is good news. Hires increased significantly on both sides of the manufacturing industry, with nondurable goods manufacturers (+27,000) and durable goods manufacturers (+41,000) reporting gains.

Hires also ticked up in construction (+22,000), while transportation, warehousing and utilities (-2,000) saw little movement in May. 

Construction sector shows resilience

The resilience of the labor market “is on full display in the construction industry,” according to economists Cory Stahle and Nick Bunker of Indeed Hiring Lab. 

Despite raised federal interest rates and concurrent higher mortgage interest rates, the construction sector has held up, Stahle and Bunker report. According to the economists, the level of job postings in construction is falling but still high, and wage growth is “fading but still elevated.” 

Jobs Market Overview: June 2023


Overall Unemployment Rate

June’s rate remained within 2022’s range of 3.5% to 3.7%.


Jobs Added

June monthly gains marked the 30th consecutive month of job gains.


Labor Force Participation Rate

The labor force participation rate has stayed at 62.6% for four straight months.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Situation Summary (bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm)

Industry Employment Trends




Monthly Job Change

(+2.5% YoY Difference)

Industry Monthly Job Change YoY Difference
Manufacturing +7k +1.3%
Automotive +4.3k +6.4%
Warehouse & Storage -6.9k -2.8%
Architectural & Engineering +6.3k +5.0%
Construction +23k +2.6%
Consumer Services (Restaurants, Retail, Hospitality) +18.3k  +2.9% 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Situation Summary

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