The good news is that if so many people are entering the labor force it must mean that they are perceiving an improvement in the economy's prospects, ... The bad news, however, is that if too many people become optimistic about their job prospects, then the unemployment rate will continue to push higher. And the higher unemployment rate does have a damaging impact on consumers. They see it and they think, 'I shouldn't be spending money.' That's one of reason the unemployment rate is so important. It's the one that drives what happens on main street.