CNSNews.com keeps doing the unemployment shuffle, with Susan Jones' article on September's job numbers fixated as usual on the labor force participation rate, which is meaningless as an indicator of employment since most of the people who aren't employed are retired or students.
That's something Jones once again fails to explicitly acknowledge in her reporting. This time, though, she serves up a bland dictionary definition: "The labor force participation rate is the percentage of people in the civilian noninstitutionalized population, age 16 or older, who are either working or actively seeking work. People who are no longer looking for work, for whatever reason -- retirement, school, family, or they've just given up -- are not participating in the labor force."
Farther down in her article, Jones offers up further elaboration:
[Federal Reserve Chair Janet] Yellen told Congress last month that the participation rate is feeling "significant downward pressure" from the aging of the population, as more and more Baby Boomers retire and leave the labor force.
"Aging of the population maybe one factor," Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) told Yellen at the hearing of the House Financial Services Committee. "The other factor is that unemployment is coming down, not for a good reason, but for the wrong reason -- namely, that there's a frustrated workforce out there that's completely given up looking for work."
But this doesn't appear until the 13th paragraph of her article, while the second paragraph asserts that "94,184,000 Americans were not in the labor force in September, 207,000 fewer than in August, and the nation's labor force participation rate" without elaboration.
Is it too much to ask for Jones and CNS to explain the truth about the labor force participation rate in a straightforward manner early in the article, when it counts? Apparently so.