It will be tough, if not impossible, to put a positive spin on the newest jobless numers for Missouri.
The number of employees in the labor force fell by 22,541 in May compared to the same month last year, according to new data released after Missouri Journal filed a Sunshine Law request.
While the unemployment rate remained the same at 7.3 percent throughout May, nonfarm payrolls across the state fell by 7,300 during last month.
As Missouri Journal first reported last month, more people in the state started jobs than left the labor force for the first time this year during April.
In May, however, more people throughout the state lost their jobs than exited the labor force.
People often ask me what I think needs to be done to turn around the labor market in the state.
They are also curious as to why it is necessary to file a Sunshine Law request to get the labor data.
I usually respond that it would be a helpful start if the Missouri Department of Economic Development would provide the labor data along with the press release touting "job creation" by the government.
But it goes beyond that. While openness would help, the gears have ground to a halt and it is going to take more than a little grease to get things going, which means it is probably time for an overhaul.
I am not, however, calling for any more government solutions. We've had enough of those for as long as I can remember. Instead, for once, I would like businesses to be allowed to take care of business.
(Side note: This also means businesses need to stop asking for government handouts.)
Besides, as I wrote on Patch last month, politicians create very few jobs. It is the issue to campaign on this election season. But when they call themselves job creators, ask them how they're creating jobs.
Wouldn't it be refreshing to hear a politician, at least once, admit that he or she would likely do more to help improve the economy by staying out of the way, not intervening and not mucking anything up.
Maybe this is why I report about the economy instead of writing public policy or running for office.