Labor Participation Rate, What is That?
Interesting article I read over the weekend in the Detroit Free Press by John Gallagher in which he stated that Michigan’s unemployment rate is “not quite what it seems.”
Really, why is that?
Well we are informed it is because there are over 100,000 people are “missing” from the job force.
Why are they missing? They stopped looking for a job.
Have you heard that before?
Michigan’s labor participation rate is approximately 60% compared to the national rate of approximately 62.9%.
The labor participation rate is the percentage of adults who are working or actively looking for work.
Interesting that I have never seen an article about this same problem that is occurring on the national landscape by the Detroit Free Press. In fact the article does not even discuss the national issue.
That is what I find so interesting. The national labor participation rate has been discussed by myself and many others but the Free Press never found the need to discuss the national rate, but now discusses it in terms of the state’s rate.
I asked myself why the Detroit Free Press never wrote about this as a national issue but now writes about it as a state issue.
Could there be some bias or agenda driven reason? I say yes.
I understand the need to write about it, but not doing so for the national number and only in regards to Michigan tells me something about the Detroit Free Press.
Charles Ballard, a professor of economics at Michigan State University, was quoted in the article stating "If we had all of those extra job seekers, and if the number of jobs in Michigan stayed the same as it is today, then our unemployment rate would be about 9.1%."
The question is posed: “Where did all those 'missing' workers go?” Again, according the article “some Boomers took early retirement, while other workers went back to school, became stay-at-home caregivers, went on Social Security disability or simply gave up."
By the way, Brian O’Conner, Detroit News Finance Editor, also wrote an article about this over the weekend and he did mention the national rate.
To me this is just another example of bias in the media. All any fair minded person is looking for is balance by the media. Yet it still remains elusive and probably will be for a long time.
We all must demand unbiased reporting when a piece is represented as reporting instead of opinion.
Is that too much to ask for?
What are your thoughts?
Let’s discuss this today on my show The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.
Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.