Workers are leaving the labor force in droves. During June, the U.S. labor force declined by 432,000 people. This labor force consists of the number of employed plus unemployed.
BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) also computes a participation rate by dividing the number in the labor force (employed plus unemployed) by the total workforce population (those who could work). The June participation rate fell to 62.6 percent, the lowest level in 38 years. For workers in their prime, from 25 to 54 years old, the participation rate fell to 81.8 percent; the second lowest in 31 years.
Workers can leave the labor force for a variety of reasons. Workers can retire, become disabled, or become discouraged and quit looking for a job. According to BLS definitions, if unemployed have not looked for a job in the last 30 days, they are no longer considered unemployed nor in the labor force. The June unemployment rate fell from 5.5 to 5.3 percent because of the large number of people leaving the labor force.
The number of people who have given up looking for a job is a significant problem. Too many unemployed people have given up.
In the kingdom, we have reason for more hope. The world looks at facts and circumstances.
We should look with faith to the King of Kings and His promises. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us. The writer of Hebrews, by the Holy Spirit, promised, "Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which will be greatly rewarded" (Heb. 10:35).
The book of Hebrews was written before the fall of Jerusalem by the Romans. Persecution of Christians, and Jewish Christians in particular, was severe. But God was in control. The promises of God are assured. We should not lose our confidence. We will see the reward.
Has the Lord given us specific promises that are yet to be fulfilled? Don't give up!
Do the circumstances in life appear disheartening? Don't give up!
Are we beginning to lose hope? Don't give up!
Are we beginning to doubt the promises of our King? Don't give up!
Does it appear to be getting worst? Don't give up!
As we approach our promised land, the tests will often become more severe. Battles are often most trying and can be lost just before the Lord has ordained our victory. The preparation for a great mission in life is often the passing of great tests.
If we remain faithful, our victory is assured, because the Lord is always faithful. We are sons and daughters of the King. We have been given access to everything we need to accomplish all that we have been called to do. Let us never, never give up.
"... You know in all your hearts and souls that not a single word has failed out of all the good things that the Lord your God has said concerning you. All came true for you. Not a single word among them failed" (Josh. 23:14).
"... Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts" (Zech. 4:6).
Dr. James Russell is a professor of economics and undergraduate chair of the College of Business at Oral Roberts University.
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