Workforce Dropout Rate a Source of Concern

Lawmakers continue to be gridlocked over the future of long-term benefits and the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, the need for which underscores how dire the labor market currently is.

Another indicator of that fact is the continued increase in the number of “workforce dropouts”…unemployed workers who simply cease the job search…a figure that has been reported at 550,000 in the last year.

KRA Corporation explored the Workforce Participation Rate in a previous post, noting the increase in workforce dropouts, as well as the impact on themselves and the workforce itself.

The WPR, a metric that looks at those working and job seeking, is currently at a 36-year low. This fact is a source of concern for some economists who believe this figure is a more accurate indicator, than the unemployment rate, of long-term economic health. It also means a smaller portion of the populace will be fueling the economy.

A Wall Street Journal posting from last April highlighted the alarming numbers of workers who simply gave up looking for employment, stressing that it was a source of concern as returning to the workforce for many of those that have stopped searching will be increasingly difficult the longer they stay unemployed, and those that do return could do so at a lesser wage structure.

More disheartening about the shrinkage in the size of the US Labor force is that it seems young workers are deciding to drop out in increasing numbers.

The same Wall Street Journal article claims that nearly half of the dropouts in the March rate were under the age of 25. These missed career and development opportunities could have a direct impact on earning potential later.

KRA Corporation is a firm believer that the youth (16-24) we serve are an essential factor in strengthening the workforce and helping the economy, while also strengthening communities. It is why we are so committed to our WIA Youth Services to aid them in becoming part of the workforce.

KRA Corporation has devoted more than 3 decades to diminishing the many effects of unemployment through our workforce development services, and will strive to reach out to those dubbed workforce dropouts.  By providing these disenchanted workers with the knowledge and skills to re-energize them in renewing their desire to rejoin the workforce they, their local communities and the overall economy will benefit.