In this post Mitch simply can't understand why the Strib isn't more jubilant about the recent low unemployment figures in Minnesota. Thing is, they explain why. It's in the sentence right before the one he takes exception with:
As Minnesota's unemployment figure drops to 3.7 percent - 1.3 below what they used to call "full employment" - the Strib's editorial board dings Pawlenty and his tax cuts because...because unemployment apparently isn't negative:The reason, as they clearly state, is because PEOPLE STOPPED LOOKING. The point of the editorial is that the unemployment figure T.Paw is trumpeting is an arbitrarily arrived at number which has little to do with reality. Hence, the "unemployed" number is going down...but the number of people with jobs is not going up. It's kind of like how all the conservatives talk about how great the economy is doing, but most of us feel like our paychecks are being stretched farther and farther. Now does it make sense?
But the May employment numbers are not quite as good as they appear, and voters should read them carefully. As the Department of Employment and Economic Development pointed out, actual job creation in May was modest. The unemployment rate went down chiefly because some 9,000 Minnesotans simply stopped looking for work and weren't counted as jobless. Consider the bigger picture: The share of working-age Minnesotans with jobs is still lower than it was five years ago, when the last recession began, 70.4 percent vs. 73 percent. [Smartie's Bold]
No context, naturally, is given for these numbers. Why is the percentage lower? Are those extra 2.6 percent of the work force retired? On welfare? On chemotherapy at Mayo? Discouraged workers?