Not an improvement: Unemployment falls, but workforce participation hardly budges


by Allen West

The October jobs report was released stating we had 214,000 jobs created and that was above the necessary rate needed to keep up with population growth (around 150,000). So the unemployment rate was lowered to 5.8 percent. However, once again the corresponding workforce participation rate was little changed at 62.8 percent in October and has been essentially flat since April. The employment-population ratio increased to 59.2 percent in October.

We must continue to be concerned that we do not have an increase in the workforce participation rate corresponding with a lowering of the unemployment rate. As we have presented here, there are some 92 million Americans who have dropped out of the workforce and are not even counted as part of the unemployment calculation.

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