Commentary: Falling Unemployment Rate Is Entirely Due to Minnesotans Leaving the Labor Force

man in yellow hardhat and work jacket

‘Minnesota job growth outpaces US, unemployment at 3.3%‘– Duluth News Tribune

‘Jobless rate in Minn. hits pre-pandemic level‘ – MPR News

‘Minnesota jobless rate falls to 3.3%, lowest since pre-pandemic‘ – Fox 9

‘Minnesota Unemployment Rate Fell in November‘– Twin Cities Business

(Center of the American Experiment) — These were some of the headlines in Minnesota’s media covering the monthly jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They paint a pretty rosy picture. So what was the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reporting with this headline: ‘Minnesota unemployment rate continues to drop, but labor force concerns grow‘?

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Commentary: The Unemployment Rate Does Not Offer Guidance Now

The Labor Department’s official unemployment rate—the most well-known gauge of the labor market’s health—counts as unemployed only those who aren’t working but are actively seeking a job.

Yet there is very little that we can infer from the jobless rate about the health of the economy.  The unavoidable conclusion is that the only reason investors follow the calculation is because both Washington’s politicians and the Federal Reserve are expected to react to it.

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