Recent figures show that while the unemployment rate in Kansas is unchanged at 6.8 percent (seasonally adjusted), the good news is that the number of people in the labor force and the number of people working is rising.
While we often focus on the unemployment rate, it is just one part of the picture. The other is the size of the labor force, which is defined as those who are working plus those who are looking for work. If the labor force is increasing in size and the unemployment rate is steady, it means that the number of people working is rising. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1,402,992 people were working in Kansas on March 1, 2011 (seasonally adjusted). The same statistic from one year ago was 1,397,819.
The chart below shows the Kansas labor force in blue, measured against the left scale. The unemployment rate is in red, measured against the right scale.
This is really NOT good news. Most of this “increased labor force” is bound to be mothers and seniors taken away from their children and leisure pursuits to reenter the workforce as marginally paid, generally unskilled labor. What we need to know is whether people are making more money in inflation adjusted terms and if they are more productive or not. The more people “technically NOT working,” rather spending time with their families, raising children, teaching classes of various sorts, improving their homes and gardens, making wise economic decisions THAT is what is needed. Everyone droning away is merely slavery.
Brent it sounds like you’re PUNISHING SUCCESS! Those welfare mothers and lazy freeloading seniors need to get back to work.