The Record Blog



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Missouri's Meaningless Unemployment Numbers

[ Patrick Tuohey ]

Brian Hook over at the Missouri Journal has posted a piece titled Layoffs Leap 96.9 Percent in which he writes,

Employers across Missouri have filed eight notices, affecting 1,207 this month, compared to seven notices, affecting 614 last month. Three notices were filed in January, impacting 229.

Last week, the economic development department reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent in February, down from 7.5 percent in January. Payrolls also increased by 2,300 during February.

Analysis of the employment data, however, shows the labor force dropped by 9,618 in February. To be considered unemployed by the government, a person must be actively seeking employment.

In other words, the unemployment rate dropped not because more people got jobs, but because fewer people kept looking—many perhaps having lost heart. Worse, more companies are planning layoffs.

In St. Louis, Governor Nixon offered the following,

Yeah, certainly we look at all the numbers. We’re trying to get more people to work. We’re trying to make sure we get that unemployment rate down so that more people looking for jobs are finding jobs.

Feel better?

3/29/2012 10:44:19 AM

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