Labor Force Growth Signals Economic Boost Locally


Each month the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the unemployment rates, which also includes the raw number of available workers in your area. Looking at the labor force numbers in Knox and Warren Counties, while there have been struggles in the past, Knox County Area Partnership President Ken Springer informs that trend seems to be heading in the other direction:

“If you look at the labor force numbers over the last 20 years, it has not been a really good story. There has been a lot of declines in the labor force and our labor pool has really shrunk. We are starting to see a trend that looks like that might be going the other direction. I am cautiously optimistic about it, but we have actually seen in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we have seen labor force growth in the last ten consecutive months. It really started in June of 2023, started to see those labor force numbers get a little but bigger each month when you compare them to the same month in the last year. This is clearly a positive sign for the economy. When I saw this trend start to emerge, I went back and tried to find a comparable run of labor force gains; in the last fifteen years we haven’t seen anything like this.”

Springer reports that an average of 600 more workers are available in the labor force at the end of each month when compared to the same month of the previous year.

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