Why does it matter?
Employment statistics are an important measure when estimating the region’s economic vitality. Generally, regions with high labor force participation and low unemployment rates portray a robust job market. More migrants to the region also assist in boosting participation and job growth. As more people migrate to the area and the labor force grows, new skill sets and specializations enter the workforce. Adding fresh skilled laborers to the region increases productivity and innovation for businesses moving forward.
Where are we now?
Unemployment did not fluctuate much from 2015 to 2019, though it was steadily declining. This was until 2020, when it grew from 3.15 to 6.45 percent. Inversely, employment grew until 2020, when it dropped from 96.85 to 93.55 percent. Unemployment fell to 4 percent in 2021, indicating economic recovery. This coincides with job growth, as jobs were on the rise until 2020, but 2021 has shown that it has leaped back up to near it’s 2019 value. During 2020, jobs experienced a decline, with a probability of the cause due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Labor force participation rates do not display a clear pattern, as they fluctuate between 58 and 61 percent.
While job growth, employment statistics and labor force participation all tell us valuable information about the capacity of the workforce, knowing how migrant populations impact these numbers is important as well. As seen in the section summarizing net migration, in 2015, 21.1 percent of the total population were migrants. This percentage includes anyone moving from somewhere else in the county, state, country or from abroad. By 2019, the percentage of the total population that was a migrant decreased to 18.25 percent.
While this migration indicator measures the percentage of the total population, we also measure total migrants using inbound and outbound migrants. This captures the total net migrants per year for the two-county area by subtracting outbound migrants from inbound migrants. If the number is positive, we have an influx of incoming migrants. When it is negative, it means the outgoing migrants are greater than incoming. From 2015 to 2020, the number of incoming migrants increased.
How do we measure it?
The job growth data solely focuses on the number of jobs in the area. Labor force participation measures the rate of the civilian population actively participating in the labor force. Net migration measures the percentage of migrants moved to our region from a different location. Additionally, we collected inbound and outbound migration.. The unemployment rate measures the percentage of the labor force that is currently without a job, or actively looking for employment.
- Job Growth: “Databases, tables & calculators by subject,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015-2020, 2020, Datasheet retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/data. Emsi Burning Glass – economicmodeling.com.
- Labor Force Participation: “ACS Table S2301,” U.S. Census Bureau, 2015-2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, 2020, Datasheet retrieved from https://data.census.gov.
- Net migration: “SOI Tax Stats - Migration Data 2018-2019,” Internal Revenue Services Tax Statistics, 2021, Datasheet located on https://www.irs.gov. Emsi Burning Glass – economicmodeling.com.
- Net migration: “ACS Table S0701,” U.S. Census Bureau, 2015-2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, 2020, Datasheet retrieved from https://data.census.gov.
- Unemployment: “ACS Table S2301,” U.S. Census Bureau, 2015-2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, 2020, Datasheet retrieved from https://data.census.gov.
What call to action is linked to this indicator?
To increase both the number of jobs and the employment rate, local policy makers should encourage economic growth. Policy makers could support export-oriented industries in the area, invest in education so that the labor force is more talented and productive, or reduce taxes to encourage consumption and investment. To increase migration to the area, policy makers could develop public services and public safety, expand job opportunities for new arrivals, maintain an affordable cost of living, and encourage recreational opportunities.
If policy makers are able to renovate certain locations in both Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, such as schools, homes, and tourist spots, this could increase the population growth with the modifications that add to the country's economy leading to a higher employment rate.