This paper addresses conceptual inadequacies of standard labor force and unemployment statistics for the purpose of representing relative stocks of available labor among regions. It attempts to rectify some of these inadequacies by applying relatively simple statistical adjustments. These are based on secondary data relating to local population characteristics and national participation rate norms.
Current criteria used to determine labor force participation depend on solicited statements regarding attempts of an individual to secure employment, or his current status as a gainfully employed person. Using labor force participation as defined by these criteria, it has been observed that labor-force size varies directly with level of economic activity and demand for labor over time. During periods in which unemployment rises, the size of the labor force normally declines.