Why The Rising Unemployment Rate Is Good News
The unemployment rate rose from 9.7% in February to 9.9% in March. This is good news.
The unemployment rate rose for the right reason. Instead of shedding jobs, employers added 290,000 jobs in April, the strongest showing since 2007. The reason the unemployment rate went up is that a lot more people are suddenly looking for work. The government said that the labor force swelled by 805,000 people in April. That’s more than three times the number of new jobs, so the proportion of people looking for a job but unable to find one went up. Still, that big increase in the labor force marks an important shift in sentiment among people on the fringes of the economy.
There is an increase in the labor force participation rate. People who had previously given up are looking a for work again. There is hope.
The participation rate bottomed out last December, when just 64.6 percent of working-age adults belonged to the labor force. It ticked upward for the first three months of 2010, and now it has risen to 65.2 percent. Before the recession, it hovered above 66 percent, so there’s still a way to go. But the mere fact that long-unemployed people are looking for work again is encouraging.Click here for reuse options!
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