Friday, August 7, 2009

Ten Lost Years

by the Sandwichman

We interrupt the cheering for the better-than-expected, less-bad-than-previous-months unemployment increase for the following announcement:
Seasonally adjusted private nonfarm employment, August 1999: 108,959,000.

Seasonally adjusted private nonfarm employment, July 2009: 108,924,000(Preliminary).
A loss of 35,000 private jobs in TEN (10) years.


Martin Langeland said...

So does the gdp grow or decline in the period?
I'm groping toward the idea that an increase in gdp would show the corporate pirates are winning.

as usual.

ProGrowthLiberal said...

I shudder to think when anyone (other than Kudlow) would see a fall in the employment to population ratio as anything other than bad news. But check out the usually sensible Steve Benen over at Washington Monthly's blog.

Jack said...

Those figures beg the question of relative size of the labor pools for the two periods of time. I would assume that ten years later there is a far larger group of potential workers making the unemployment numbers all the worse. Also, if the same number of people are employed where's the growth in the economy?

urban legend said...

This post is missing the base data that shows it as a massive loss of employment in real terms. An economy merely stuck in neutral, so to speak, should keep the ratio the same, but the drop since April 2000 is unprecedented in the post-War period.

Even worse from an absolute standpoint, we know that the ratio will go well above 70% in low-poverty areas when jobs are plentiful. From that standard, we need another 30 million jobs -- not thousand -- to create a genuinely prosperous, full-employment society. Don't see that happening soon.

TheTrucker said...

I do not understand the correlation between percentage of population employed and the numbers posted by Sandwichman. I look at the numbers posted and see a count of employed persons. That count is not advertised as any sort of percentage of the population and I see no reference to population. Just looking at the numbers as they are it says that the increase in population has not been afforded an increase in employment opportunity.

But this is where I tend to disagree with most Liberal or progressive people and economists. I see the civilian employment ratio as a measure of how many family members must work outside the home in order to make ends meet. As that percentage declines then wages must be rising because less people per family need to work in order to support the family.

Only the unemployment rate (if it is a measure of those seeking and unable to find employment) is a proper indication of the success or failure of the _real_ economy. As far as I am concerned, all the rest is bull manure.