Common Sense Institute Arizona to Welcome Katie Ratlief as New Executive Director

The Common Sense Institute (CSI) Arizona announced Tuesday that the Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Doug Ducey, Katie Ratlief, will join the organization as its new executive director come January 2023.

“I am proud to become the Executive Director for CSI Arizona. I believe CSI has the unique capabilities to position Arizona at the forefront of the 21st century economy by capitalizing on unprecedented growth and an ever-evolving business environment through sound, accurate econometric research. At CSI, I believe we have a responsibility to use our diverse professional expertise and unwavering commitment to serve Arizonans to propel policy debates forward in pursuit of more meaningful and impactful policies,” said Ratlief.

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Booming Jobs Report Masks Uptick in Men Leaving the Labor Force

Women’s employment increased markedly from June to July, but the total number of employed working-aged men actually dropped in that same time span according to a July jobs report released Friday.

There were 170,000 fewer employed men in July than June, whereas 349,000 more women were employed in July, according to Yahoo Finance. Women’s unemployment dipped to 3.1% in July from 3.3% in June while the same figure for men remained steady at 3.2% from June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July 2022 Employment Situation report found.

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Pennsylvania IFO Study: Labor Force Down by 120,000 Since Year Before COVID

A report released this week by Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) indicates that 120,000 fewer residents are working or actively seeking work than in the year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The study showed the state’s labor force participate rate (LFPR) for those aged 16 and older to be 63 percent in May 2019 and to have declined to 61.9 percent one year later. That percentage has continued gradually decreasing — to 61.8 percent in May 2021 and to 61.7 percent two months ago.

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Commentary: Falling Unemployment Rate Is Entirely Due to Minnesotans Leaving the Labor Force

man in yellow hardhat and work jacket

‘Minnesota job growth outpaces US, unemployment at 3.3%‘– Duluth News Tribune

‘Jobless rate in Minn. hits pre-pandemic level‘ – MPR News

‘Minnesota jobless rate falls to 3.3%, lowest since pre-pandemic‘ – Fox 9

‘Minnesota Unemployment Rate Fell in November‘– Twin Cities Business

(Center of the American Experiment) — These were some of the headlines in Minnesota’s media covering the monthly jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They paint a pretty rosy picture. So what was the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reporting with this headline: ‘Minnesota unemployment rate continues to drop, but labor force concerns grow‘?

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Michigan’s $40 Million ‘Going Pro’ Fund Helps 30,000 Train and Get Jobs

A $40 million project is estimated to help 30,000 workers statewide secure employment through the state’s Going PRO Talent Fund.

The program aims to lure back Michigan’s workforce lost during COVID-19, encourage specialization, and help businesses fill jobs in a tight labor market. Between Feb. 2020 and April 2020, Michigan’s labor force plunged by 341,500 or 6.9%. Labor force levels in Michigan have rebounded modestly, increasing by 139,400 or 3% percent from April 2020 to August 2021.

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Commentary: The Unemployment Rate Does Not Offer Guidance Now

The Labor Department’s official unemployment rate—the most well-known gauge of the labor market’s health—counts as unemployed only those who aren’t working but are actively seeking a job.

Yet there is very little that we can infer from the jobless rate about the health of the economy.  The unavoidable conclusion is that the only reason investors follow the calculation is because both Washington’s politicians and the Federal Reserve are expected to react to it.

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