Added Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the liberal Economic Policy Institute, “Looking at this ratio sidesteps a lot of structural issues, like baby-boomers retiring. You are looking at prime-age workers and it gives you a better sense of the weakness in our current job market.”
The jobless rate can be misleading because it only includes the share of people looking for work but don’t have a job. Those not trying to get a job aren’t counted as unemployed. And the labor force participation rate has fallen to its lowest level in decades.