From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

Many who want jobs have given up search

Some who question the declining unemployment rate point out that the reason it’s going down – nationally, statewide and metro – is because there are fewer people seeking jobs.

 

The workforce is lower, hence the percentages are better when compared to those that have jobs. The number of people on the “sidelines” taint the true picture of unemployment: Many people aren’t looking because they aren’t finding jobs.

 

So, let’s have some fun with mathematics (and make math teachers smile that you can use those two words in the same sentence) in order to see what the unemployment rate for Augusta would be if the higher workforce number is plugged in.

 

First, we need the “sidelines” for the Augusta metro area. The average workforce for the greater Augusta area so far this year is 260,322. Last year, it was 263,000. So we know there’s roughly 3,300 fewer people seeking work out there.

 

Taking the published rate from the state’s labor department and adding 3,300 to each side, you get 19,870 unemployed and 266,112 in the workforce. That’s a 7.5 percent unemployment rate, one-tenth lower than April 2013.

 

Grain of salt warning: Statisticians cannot deduce individual intent, but this is for illustrative purposes and the method may not find every person who would want to work if the economy changed for the better.

 

WHAT YOU MISSED ON TWITTER:

  • Verizon Wireless launches urban data boost technology in Augusta. 
  • Frank Thomas Jr., president of Security Federal Bank, retiring on June 6. 
  • Richard Harmon, Security Federal Bank’s chief lending officer, to become new bank president on June 6. 
  • Local chamber of commerce officials spend election day in Washington, D.C., for lobbying. 
  • Nuclear site veteran taking over at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.

 

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