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Keep an eye on the labor force participation rate


It's entirely possible likely. Even the things are worse than the very bad numbers are already telling us from American public media. This is marketplace in Los Angeles. I'm Kai Ryssdal. It is Thursday today the last day of the craziest full month. This economy has seen. Maybe ever good to have you along everybody. There will be in the first few minutes of the program today. Some math and I apologize. I know that's not why you're here. But this morning's news that another three point eight million people filed for unemployment benefits in the past week more than thirty million since early March pledges. Us DO SOME CALCULATIONS. So here we go. The unemployment rate before the bottom fell out of this economy was three point. Five percent that went up to four point four percent in March next Friday morning. We get the April number and as marketplace's Mitchell Hartman reports. It is almost certainly going under shoot. How many people are really out of work? I asked several economists. How high they think unemployment is right now. The average around twenty percent but the official number for April won't capture a lot of people not working because of the pandemic take fifty two year old Brian Forester of Tulsa. I finally got through to the Oklahoma unemployment commission. I'm kind of on. Hold with them right now. Yeah he took my call while a state worker checked on his appeal for jobless benefits foresters out of work and has no income but he wouldn't be counted as unemployed by the Labor Department because he's not actively looking for work he had a job lined up with the Census Bureau. But it's been put on hold. They're really not a lot of jobs out there available right now. That's what I've been doing is basically cooling my hails. So what's a better measure of unemployment Bill Rodgers former chief economist at the Labor Department suggests the labor force participation rate its share of the civilian population. That is either working or they say that they're actually searching for a job. Roger says a sharp decline in labor force participation will show the true scale of employment loss. It's also capturing people who may have gotten discouraged has there aren't jobs in the world of Cova. They're concerned about if they work. They can get sick. The Congressional Budget Office predicts labor force participation will fall to just under sixty percent the lowest since the early one thousand nine hundred seventies. The hope is that as people return to work. Participation will start rising again but there are signs of unease among American workers bank rates Mark Hamrick sites a recent survey fifty seven percent or moderately to extremely concerned about their job security and those least likely to go back to work soon or have employers to go back to our in low-paid sectors like restaurants hotels nail and hair salons. I'm Mitchell Hartman for

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