Labor Supply Revealed

laborsupplyrevealExciting news! The Labor Market Information Center (LMIC) is now releasing a more detailed labor supply section on their website! If this news makes you squeal like a little girl, I feel you. <fist bump>

If you’re not a data nerd and find yourself wondering what in the world is so exciting about more detailed labor supply data, allow me to enlighten you.

Proving you have an available workforce has been a challenge in low unemployment areas like South Dakota. Apart from the unemployment rate, there wasn’t a data point readily available to dispel the notion that our labor pool was tapped and the only option to counter the argument was time-consuming, original research. Then the labor supply number came along (Dec 1995) – updated monthly – and provided another readily available data point.

If labor supply is a new term to you, here’s the official definition:

Labor supply can be defined as the number of persons who would be available to staff a new or expanding business in an area. Labor supply can be categorized into two groups: those who currently hold jobs (and would like to change) and those who, for a variety of reasons, do not have jobs. Technical Notes.

With labor supply we had a new number to utilize and a vague understanding that it included the unemployed and underemployed. But if you’re like me, that just raised more questions. We wanted to peak behind the curtain and know exactly what share were unemployed and underemployed and it wasn’t as simple as subtracting the released unemployment number from the labor supply number because there was a third component involved.

But now, we get to know all of the components! Starting with January 2015 data (released March 9, 2015) you can see the labor supply breakdown by:

  • Unemployed
  • Underemployed
  • Discouraged Workers (mysterious 3rd component)

Join me nerds! Squeal from the excitement!

By the way, I want to highlight that Labor Supply is a unique number to South Dakota. It’s the brain child of the LMIC crew and something they’ve been providing on a monthly basis for almost 20 years now.

On a side note, if you’re not familiar with the LMIC, you need to be! Spend the rest of the day digging into their site…REALLY! It is that valuable of a resource!

Also subscribe to the Labor Market Bulletin to keep abreast of the latest labor data.

Categories: Labor Force

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