The news that people are dropping out of the labor force is being spun as obviously a bad thing, but I have to disagree strongly.
I myself am someone who left my last employer in 2002, and I am officially unemployed (and not seeking work) to this day. My wife likewise left the labor force in 1999, never to return. We must be huring, right? On welfare, living on our savings, begging from relatives, etc.? No, actually we started a business in 2000. And we are doing extremely well, thank you very much.
In addition, it has been obvious for years (at least to us as new (in 1999) parents) that it is again becoming common for women to stay home with their children. Time magazine just made it official:
So why is it that women having the financial freedom to quit work to spend time with their children is a bad thing? Why is dropping out of the "official" work force to start your own business a bad thing? I submit that both are in fact very good things, and that the number of people in both these categories has been growing. I further believe that this growth has significantly accellerated during the last few years.
PS If anyone is interested, we are in business as E-retailers, and there are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of us selling just about anything you can think of. This type of business just didn't exist 10 years ago. Relatively easy entry into this type of business only became a reality roughly 5 years ago. Yet in our own tiny corner of the this new marketplace, there are easily thirty or forty similar competing small companies that I know of, and likely at least as many more that I am unaware of. (While we did open a brick-and-mortar location nearly two years ago, the internet still acounts for the vast, vast majority of our sales.)