For those of you who closely watch unemployment data, you know it’s not just the unemployment rate, but the size of the labor force that matters.
That’s because as people retire, quit work to take care of family members or go to school, they’re not in the workforce. The unemployment rate is the number of active job seekers divided by the size of the workforce. So if the workforce is shrinking, the unemployment rate can look better even if the number of unemployed finding jobs is not great.
It’s hard to get a full picture of the employment ratio, because the first of the baby boomers turned 65 last year, net migration from Mexico is at zero, and other moving parts.
But this chart shows that Connecticut, at the very least, is not among the worst states by this measure. It’s not in the best group — that’s Vermont, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland and the Great Plains states. But it’s doing better than New York, more than half the Southern states, and California, among others.