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June 2023 Market Trends Report

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The U.S. economy added 339,000 jobs in May while the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation Summary. 

Industrial sectors reported gains for  employees on payrolls in May, including in construction and transportation & warehousing (+24,200).

According to BLS, employment growth in the construction sector could be credited in large part to growth reported in the heavy and civil engineering construction subsector (+10,700. Buildings construction employers (+6,600) and nonresidential specialty trade contractors (+7,200) both also experienced credible growth in May.  

While warehousing and storage ticked down by 1,900 as a subsector, transportation and warehousing as a sector grew by 24,200 employees on payrolls in May. Notable subsectors to grow employees in May included air transportation (+3,100), transit and ground passenger transportation (+11,800) and support activities for transportation (+2,200).

The manufacturing sector experienced a slight dip of 2,000 employees on payrolls in May, according to BLS. While many subsectors experienced stagnant headcount, there were some that did grow in the month. Transportation equipment manufacturers (+10,500), including automotive vehicles and parts manufacturers (+6,800) were outliers as they reported growth in May.

JOLTS Report shows job openings remain high

The latest Job Opportunities and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report, which runs a month behind the BLS Employment Situation Summary, showed there were 10.1 million job openings on the last business day of April. 

In April, job openings increased in transportation, warehousing and utilities (+154,000) and construction (+78,000), while decreasing in manufacturing (-26,000). 

The job openings rate was 6.1 percent in April, rebounding slightly after decreasing in each month since the start of the year. 

Meanwhile, hires increased in manufacturing (+14,000) and transportation, warehousing and utilities (+6,000), while falling in construction (-27,000) in April. 

Layoffs level as 'Great Resignation' continues

After layoffs and discharges increased in construction and manufacturing in March, those numbers retreated significantly in April. There were 113,000 fewer layoffs and discharges month-over-month in construction, while manufacturing (+2,000) and transportation, warehousing and utilities (0) held steady in April.

Quits, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, seemed to level off as well. After consistently falling in each of the first three months of the year, quits in the construction sector grew by 23,000 in April. Quits also grew slightly in transportation, warehousing and utiltiies (+3,000), while dipping slightly in manufacturing (-12,000).

After some took falling quit rates over the first few months of the year for the end of the so-called Great Resignation, attitudes may shift if April’s trend continues. Some are predicting the trend of turnover many employers have experienced in recent years will continue.

According to PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes & Fears Survey of 53,912 individuals working or actively in the labor market, 26% of employees say they will change jobs in the next 12 months, up from 19% last year. 

Similar to the findings of Aerotek’s Spring 2023 Job-Seeker Survey, pWc also found that those workers seeking new employment will be focused on purpose, company culture and inclusion. An “economic squeeze,” according to pWc, is also driving up pay demands – workers planning to ask for a pay increase jumped from 35% to 42% year on year, according to pWc’s survey.


Jobs Market Overview: May 2023


Overall Unemployment Rate

May’s rate increased by .3 percentage points. The unemployment rate remains within 2022’s range of 3.5% to 3.7%.


Jobs Added

May monthly gains marked the 29th consecutive month of job gains.


Labor Force Participation Rate

The labor force participation rate has shown little movement since early 2022.

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

Industry Employment Trends




Monthly Job Change

(+2.7% YoY Difference)

Industry Monthly Job Change YoY Difference
Manufacturing -2k +1.5%
Automotive +6.8k +6.6%
Warehouse & Storage -1.9k -1.9%
Architectural & Engineering +7k +5.2%
Construction +25k +2.5%
Consumer Services (Restaurants, Retail, Hospitality) +60.2k  +3.3% 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Situation Summary

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