Labor Force, Population, and Generational Change in South Carolina
In this latest publication, we’re taking a closer look at the second of the “Big 3” monthly employment situation measures: the Labor Force Participation Rate. If the Unemployment Rate is the number elected officials and politicians rely on as the benchmark of a healthy economy, then the Labor Force Participation Rate is the number their critics rely on to counter the value of those low Unemployment Rates. To skip right to the punchline, both measures are vital to a full understanding of the current state of the workforce and both are also driven, in no small part, by much larger population characteristics well beyond political control. Leaving aside, momentarily, any discussion of those population characteristics and their impact on standard measures of the health of the economy, let’s focus first on the basics of the Labor Force Participation Rate. The Labor Force Participation Rate, in simple terms, is the percentage of the population that is either working or actively seeking employment. To calculate this rate on a monthly basis, it is necessary to estimate 3 unique counts: the number of people who are employed, the number of people who are unemployed, and the current civilian, non-institutional population over the age of 16.
Read more in the electronic publication above.