The silver lining in Friday’s mediocre jobs report was this milestone: The unemployment rate fell below 5% first time Since the pandemic sent workers home in large numbers.
yes but: What pushed it down was the lack of labor force participation.
By numbers: labor force, which includes any person who has a job in either Or is actively looking for one, which was marked by 183,000 in September (people who have stopped looking for jobs are not counted in the labor force – or in the unemployment rate).
- The labor force participation rate has remained stubbornly stuck in the region at 61.5% since June 2020, its pandemic decline by less than half.
why it matters: The September drop signals that some people are leaving jobs (at least for now), at a time when there are still 5 million fewer people working than in February 2020.
two reasons: Women and recently retired.
- NS participation rate For women, often the primary caregiver for children or elderly family members, it dropped again in September to 57.1% (the rate rose to 70% for men).
- and more – mostly affluent – people nearing retirement age leave it early, survey and data show. A driver is just enough that they can afford it, thanks to significant increases in asset values like stocks and real estate over the past year and a half, Tony Roth, CIO of the Wilmington Trust, tells Nerdshala.
Bottom-line: Ironically, the Federal Reserve waits for more job growth before pulling back on its emergency market support — but that support may be contributing to a lack of job growth among workers nearing retirement age, Roth says. .
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