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Is a Dropping Unemployment Rate Really a Sign of Economic Recovery?

The Ohio unemployment rate has dropped approximately 2% since last year (October 2013), currently at 5.3%, it was 7.4% a year ago. What does that really mean?

We typically associate a dropping unemployment rate as a positive sign that the economy is bouncing back. However, the unemployment rate may not be the best indicator for measuring the strength of the job market. It’s important to know the following factors are not included in the unemployment rate*:

  • People who have dropped out of the labor force who are not working and have stopped looking for work
  • Individuals who are leaving the labor force due to retirement
  • Younger people who are staying in school longer

Whether you are a CEO, sole proprietor, job seeker, or retiree, the unemployment rate effects each and every one of us in different ways. It’s important to understand what the number really means. It shouldn’t always be taken at face value. Even with a dropping unemployment rate, overall, research indicates that the global economy has taken longer to recover than initially expected.

Unemployment-rateThe good news is there are industries that continue to grow thus positions are growing in demand. The economy is slowly bouncing back. Maybe not as quickly as the dropping unemployment rate might lead you to believe but it is indeed improving. Here is a great article on some growing careers for next year. Click to check out this list from MSN on the top 10 Best Jobs for 2015. 

*Learn more about how the government calculates unemployment, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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