Labor Force Participation Is Buried In Metrics

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Labor force participation

Labor Force Participation Is Buried In Metrics

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Does your community have a high labor force participation rate? How is that measured? The Department of Labor and Industry has some measurement, is it accurate? Working from home (WFH) has become a big thing since March of 2020, are you still on the payroll?

The shift was a struggle for many. Both employers and employees had to pivot, shift, and adapt. Some have loved it, some have despised it, and some are envious.

Early in the process there was talk of the new normal. Then some weren’t sure, and now, it is all probably somewhere in-between.

There is a new normal for many. Some businesses have decided to stick with WFH employees. They are making plans to downsize their office space and are being productive while saving on overhead costs.

Does this change who is actually in the workforce? How are they being compensated? Are they independent contractors or employees?

Labor Force Participation

One big shift for some businesses was understanding how to hold employees accountable.

Are they being measured by logging into a private business network from 9 to 5? Do they click on a couple of items every few minutes? Are they required to be in Zoom meetings two to three times per day?

What is the metric to occupy a spot on payroll?

In some cases, it seemed to suffice by work turned in. Turn in the report, talk to the customers, make phone calls, send email messages, and quantify the work you are doing. Is that the same measurement as before?

Are you working for an organization or are you a subcontractor? Of course, the IRS has certain rules about this, but I’m not referring to the IRS ruling, I’m wondering about business trends?

Shifting Work

Manufacturing has been one area that seemed to keep on churning, largely with the same style as before. Restaurants, the ones that were able to remain open, similar thing. Essential workers, healthcare, emergency management services, and more, needed to be onsite.

We can quickly suggest that many areas of service and manufacturing, and others, will need an onsite workforce.

Is this onsite workforce shrinking?

Technology is continuing to change the dynamics. Many job roles are being replaced or subsidized by automation. Humans monitor output via video and data streams. Originally, much of this automation was built into the facilities, now, it is being monitored remotely.

What is the new definition of work? Are you participating in the labor force when you go on payroll? Do you need to be physically present, produce a tangible product, or simply meet a few metrics?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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