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Thursday, July 03, 2014

The "declining" labor force

Readers here are aware that the reason the unemployment rates are relatively low is because the BLS is playing games with the size of the labor force in order to undercount the number of people who are unemployed. The four-percent decline in the Employment-Population Rate, which is less easily gamed than the Unemployment Rate, demonstrates this clearly. So, the Administration and neo-Keynesian apologists have come up with various reasons for why people are "leaving" the labor force in order to justify their statistical shenanigans.

However, this article on Zerohedge makes it clear that people are not leaving the labor force voluntarily. Quite to the contrary, they are clinging harder to their jobs than ever before; the biggest change between 2005 and 2010 was the decline from 36.5 to 25.9 percent employed among the 16-19 age group. In other words, these young adults, who are now 20-23, never found jobs and never formally entered the labor force.

The same pattern is true all the way up through the 45-54 age group, which indicates people losing their jobs due to a lack of seniority, then being unable to find work again. From age 55+, a higher percentage of people were employed than before. People aren't "leaving the labor force", they are merely unable to find any work for extended periods of time. They are unemployed by every definition of the term, except for the BLS's misleading measure.

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44 Comments:

Anonymous x July 03, 2014 9:05 AM  

Well, if we just use the "Kratman Solution" and eliminate 6 million people, then there will plenty of job openings. Plus new jobs in cattle car manufacturing, barb wire placement, Zyclon B transport...

Anonymous Godfrey July 03, 2014 9:06 AM  


"So, the Administration and neo-Keynesian apologists have come up with various reasons for why people are "leaving" the labor force in order to justify their statistical shenanigans."


Man is not a rational creature. He is a rationalizing creature.

Anonymous Godfrey July 03, 2014 9:20 AM  

"Well, if we just use the "Kratman Solution" and eliminate 6 million people, then there will plenty of job openings. Plus new jobs in cattle car manufacturing, barb wire placement, Zyclon B transport..."


Sorry x, but most of the people he's describing are already unemployed... well, or, in the case of the "Progressives", employed in parasitical unproductive occupations.

Blogger James Dixon July 03, 2014 9:28 AM  

> However, this article on Zerohedge makes it clear that people are not leaving the labor force voluntarily.

I'd be happy to leave the labor force. Unfortunately, the current rate of return on bank balances makes that impractical. :(

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 03, 2014 9:33 AM  

Is there just one guy on the entire internet who goes by X?

It's a legitimate question, they all sound exactly the same.

Blogger Shimshon July 03, 2014 9:35 AM  

X, your whine is duly noted. The "Kratman Solution" is proposed as an alternative to what is at this point is otherwise inevitable, a collapse of federal/state/local governments to various degrees in much of the US.

If just phase one of his proposal (kill all the lawyers...I mean common law felons) were carried out, along with warnings to the rest of the miscreants, you can be sure that immigrants would voluntarily self-deport and progs would STFU before they were targeted too.

Otherwise, when the collapse comes, the outcome will be far worse than what he proposes. In other words, his proposal is the best possible solution to an intractable problem, with minimal loss of life, directed solely to those who truly have it coming.

Anonymous x July 03, 2014 9:44 AM  

Shimshon:

Can you sell me some fertilizer?

Just kidding!!11

How are things going on the FBI?

Blogger James Dixon July 03, 2014 9:51 AM  

> Can you sell me some fertilizer?

Why? It sounds like you have more than enough of it.

Anonymous YIH July 03, 2014 9:54 AM  

shut it tad

Anonymous Stilicho July 03, 2014 9:58 AM  

I'd love to see those same stats as of 2014 added to the chart. I expect the trend has continued. Has anyone seen such numbers?

Blogger BigFire July 03, 2014 10:00 AM  

There are lies, damn lies and statistics. To this we now add Bureau of Labor Statistics. If we're to get rid of the remaining 91 million from the workforce we would reach that liberal nirvana of 0% unemployment. Can our president do this with the 2.5 years left in his terms? I wouldn't bet against it.

Anonymous Josh July 03, 2014 10:00 AM  

the biggest change between 2005 and 2010 was the decline from 36.5 to 25.9 percent employed among the 16-19 age group. In other words, these young adults, who are now 20-23, never found jobs and never formally entered the labor force.

This can't possibly end well.

It's also one of the reasons we're seeing so much noise over raising the minimum wage.

Anonymous DrTorch July 03, 2014 10:02 AM  

What's interesting is that Social Security was created so that older workers would willingly leave their jobs and make it easier for younger workers to find employment. Of course a Ponzi scheme is unsustainable, so now the situation is back to older workers clinging to jobs AND their SS and other benefits, all at the expense of the younger worker.

The locusts are doing their damndest, that's for sure.

Funny note. My hometown newspaper published local unemployment figures a few days ago. The tone was very positive since unemployment was down for the county. Oh, and it mentioned that 4000+ (~4% of total population) eligible workers had moved away. Apparently the author believes that newspapers still sell in ghost towns.

Blogger Shimshon July 03, 2014 10:04 AM  

X, like Vox, I am an expatriate. I have not even visited the US in nearly 10 years. The last time I was there was just before the airline travel liquid ban was instituted. Not sure I'd even want to visit, even though I do miss the old country and my family.

Anonymous Josh July 03, 2014 10:06 AM  

I'd love to see those same stats as of 2014 added to the chart. I expect the trend has continued. Has anyone seen such numbers?

This includes 2012 data.

Blogger Shimshon July 03, 2014 10:09 AM  

I don't advocate or suggest anyone start carrying out the Kratman Plan, btw. Like Vox, I believe collapse inevitable, and nothing proactive will be done to prevent it.

Anonymous Josh July 03, 2014 10:11 AM  

I don't advocate or suggest anyone start carrying out the Kratman Plan, btw

That would have been the height of irony

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 03, 2014 10:11 AM  

If we can keep convincing people to give up looking for work, we'll be back to full employment in no time!

-Iowahawk

Anonymous Joseph Dooley July 03, 2014 10:33 AM  

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan is attributed “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts” ad nauseum, but that’s demonstrably false. Here are their own facts liberals entitled to:

- Global warming
- Gun violence epidemic
- Unemployment rate
- Gender pay gap
- Sexual “orientation”

Blogger Quadko July 03, 2014 10:56 AM  

progs would STFU
They'd join Special Task Force Unicorn? What? Oh! Right. That's what I get for reading MHI straight through the last few weeks.

Anonymous zen0 July 03, 2014 11:11 AM  

Plus new jobs in cattle car manufacturing, barb wire placement, Zyclon B transport...

Don't be silly x (if that your REAL name) , FEMA has stockpiled enough ammo to kill everyone in America many times over. Just one to the back of the head and into the memory hole.

Monuments will spring up all over Murca on the site of these new landfills.

Anonymous Roundtine July 03, 2014 11:32 AM  

You know what happened guys? The climate scientists sent the cooling data in the labor force data. The climate models are showing the unemployment rate, the unemployment rate is the temperature data.

Blogger Miguel D'Anconia July 03, 2014 11:38 AM  

Couple Vox's observations on entering/leaving the workforce based on age with the fact that the newly created jobs will filled by immigrants and you have a total screwing of amerikans by their government and the crony capitalist corporations. The future does not look bright at all pending a meltdown of the government and break-up of the USSA.

Anonymous Quartermain July 03, 2014 11:46 AM  

I think it was Mark Twain that said "figures don't lie but liars figure."

Anytime someone quotes government statistics on unemployment like they were unimpeachable, I just want to punch them in the face.

OpenID mattse001 July 03, 2014 11:50 AM  

500k full-time jobs eliminated.
(rounding up) 800k jobs created.

But, 75% of the jobs created were part-time (600k). Let's assume they were 75% Full Time Equivalent (FTE). That makes 450k FTE jobs created, with another 200k explicitly full-time jobs, for a total of 650k full-time or FTE jobs.
Minus the 500k jobs lost, that makes 150k jobs created.
At the reduced population growth rates we are currently suffering, 150k is treading water.

Even worse, some unknown percentage of those part-time jobs were duplicate, as people took two jobs to make up for the lost hours.

This is the slow bleed-out of economic stagnation, a la Japan.

Anonymous Mr. Nightstick July 03, 2014 11:57 AM  

These government lies mean nothing in light of the fact that I killed a gopher today. This must be how the British felt when they sunk the Bismarck.

Blogger Scott X July 03, 2014 12:10 PM  

So what then is the real unemployment rate when calculated by the method used before the current administration? 8-9%?

Anonymous Josh July 03, 2014 12:16 PM  

Scott I'd estimate 15%+

Anonymous Jill July 03, 2014 12:19 PM  

Ha ha ha ha ha....If you want to lie, use a chart or a graph. That's my method, anyway.

Anonymous Stilicho July 03, 2014 12:40 PM  

500k full-time jobs eliminated.
(rounding up) 800k jobs created.

But, 75% of the jobs created were part-time (600k). Let's assume they were 75% Full Time Equivalent (FTE). That makes 450k FTE jobs created, with another 200k explicitly full-time jobs, for a total of 650k full-time or FTE jobs.
Minus the 500k jobs lost, that makes 150k jobs created.
At the reduced population growth rates we are currently suffering, 150k is treading water.


Where are you getting your numbers? ZH reports that 800K part time jobs were created and 530K full time jobs were lost.

OpenID mattse001 July 03, 2014 12:44 PM  

ZH, but I didn't read the stats closely enough...you are correct. It's even worse than I thought.

OpenID mattse001 July 03, 2014 12:46 PM  

530k full time jobs eliminated.
800k part-time jobs created.

At 75% FTE, that is 600k FTE jobs, minus the 530k jobs destroyed, for a total of 70k FTE jobs created.

Anonymous Jack Amok July 03, 2014 1:18 PM  

I'm curious what the under-the-table employment figures look like. I've noticed a huge increase in barter and freelance cash-based work.

Anonymous hardscrabble farmer July 03, 2014 1:19 PM  

That's funny, NPR was just this very morning touting the lowest unemployment numbers since September '08, and the highest number of new jobs since the 1990's. They made it sound like the rosiest economic outlook since the dot com bubble.

Why can't we see this?

Blogger James Dixon July 03, 2014 1:34 PM  

But the Dow is over 17000. All must surely be right with the world.

Anonymous vevets July 03, 2014 3:04 PM  

And... cue the latest under-served group necessitating legislative remedy: Those disadvantaged by those bastard 55+ who won't leave the work force to make way for them.
Wait... that would require Keynesians acknowledge the un-gamed statistics.

Anonymous cheddarman July 03, 2014 6:59 PM  

Hardscrabble Farmer, I call NPR "National Gay Public Radio," which it might as well be.

Anonymous Millenium July 03, 2014 7:28 PM  

This is what Nate and all his fellow 'man up and get a job you lazy millenials' don't seem to get. There are no fucking jobs. There is no hope of getting a fucking job because any job you can do without a degree some immigrant will do for below liveable wage and even getting a degree is not a guaranteed job like it was for Nate etc - between outsourcing and immigration all the entry level positions in IT, engineering etc are disappearing. I tried for the oil fields and failed the physical (existing medical condition that can't be fixed with diet, exercise or even a shit load of money).
But I'm sure Nate will be along in a while to say 'shut up and get a job'

Blogger James Dixon July 03, 2014 8:25 PM  

> There are no fucking jobs.

Yeah, we know. You even have my sympathy.

But that doesn't change anything. If there are no jobs, then you have to make your own. No one ever said life was going to be easy.

The upside is that once you've made your own job, you're never dependent on an employer for a job again.

Anonymous Jack Amok July 03, 2014 8:59 PM  

Yeah Millenium, what James Dixon said is right. Sure, "Suck it up and deal with it" sounds heartless, but honestly its' the most compassionate advice you can get. Anything else really amounts to "Oh, poor baby, here, let me give you a hug and make it all better." You don't want that.

Someone who says "deal with it" is treating you like a man. Someone who says "poor baby" is treating you like a child.

Blogger LibertyPortraits July 03, 2014 11:16 PM  

Well, sorry old folks, but the Kratman Plan promises liberty and jobs, I can just Google search wisdom and endless stories about who lived where and did what and had so and so kids.

Anonymous Millenium July 04, 2014 5:44 AM  

Its hard to work for yourself when you barely have money to pay the rent because you don't have a steady job. Not to mention you can't get a loan etc. Franklin said making your first million was the hardest but today its managing to get your first thousand that is even harder

Blogger James Dixon July 04, 2014 7:46 PM  

> Its hard to work for yourself when you barely have money to pay the rent because you don't have a steady job.

Yep. It is. Been there. But like I said, no one said life was going to be easy. You seem to think you're the first folks to go through this. Research the late 70's. Like now, there were no jobs to be found.

Anonymous Luke July 05, 2014 2:14 PM  

Millenium July 03, 2014 7:28 PM

"This is what Nate and all his fellow 'man up and get a job you lazy millenials' don't seem to get. There are no fucking jobs. There is no hope of getting a fucking job because any job you can do without a degree some immigrant will do for below liveable wage and even getting a degree is not a guaranteed job like it was for Nate etc - between outsourcing and immigration all the entry level positions in IT, engineering etc are disappearing. I tried for the oil fields and failed the physical (existing medical condition that can't be fixed with diet, exercise or even a shit load of money)."

Interesting. I HAVE a job in the oil field (back ~2 weeks from 5 months largely in ND, about to go back to work). Two previous employers asked me in the past 4 days if I would come back to work for them. My weight is also sadly a bit high these days, albeit with no other problems aside from being the other side of 50.

Of course, I have two fully relevant hard-science degrees (much arduous poverty involved there) and a decade of experience (usually in BFE or worse locations) doing this kind of work, so that makes me not exactly a worm (industry term for total newbie). What's hard for me to get is nontechnician office jobs in my field, those largely going to women/diversities so as to maximize diversity hiring statistics for hiring managers.

BTW, guys who already know how to drive 18-wheel trucks, weld, lay pipelines, do directional drilling, or fix large machines are very much still in demand in ND. Even Wal-Mart and McDonald's in Williston need people (former at 17/hr, place to sleep provided).

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