Does the phrase in bold mean "it's able to make people not want to work" or "it's able to make people look for work"?

One of the big surprises over the past 18 months is that the job market continues to be so strong, able to pull people back into the labor force who gave up looking for work altogether, Kashkari wrote. The United States added 235,000 jobs in February, official data show, far above the level needed to keep up with population growth.

Source: Washingtonpost.com

1 Answer 1


To your specific question - it means it's able to make [more] people look for work.

The phrase able to pull ... back refers to the ability of the job market to grow and make room for new workers. Since the job market has grown, it now has more openings, and is able to "pull back" or "suck in" more workers (compare it to a syringe whose plunger is pulled up to suck in a liquid).


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