The further thinning of the labor force in this week’s jobs data is not a sign of an energetic economy, but it is good news in another sense. With fewer people looking for work, it makes it easier for those who must look for work to find a job. No one could claim it is easy for workers to find work in a period of 8 percent unemployment, but it is perhaps a little easier than it was last year.
The economy rewards initiative when people looking for work have a chance of finding it. That is part of the flow of a functioning economy, and for the individual, the flow of the economy is more important than its total size.