Sunday, March 29, 2009

For Contrast

An interesting contrast. The last graph implied that unemployment gets worse each recession. This shows a different result. So each recovery we end up with less and less people unemployed for longer and longer.

I have no idea what that means, although the nasty side of me says we have filtered down to the real losers. They would be first to go and last to be rehired. But let's be honest, I am a bit of a work snob, so we can't take that too seriously.

Also, I always thought that the 2001/2 recession could be laid at the feet of 9/11, these graphs suggest that we were just 'due'. Maybe any trigger would have done.


TAO March 29, 2009 at 10:02 AM  

I do not know where you come up with the fact that we have 'less and less' people unemployed...

Nothing in the graph shows any numerical ranking for that. I would also counter that with unemployment, we usually only talk about people who are drawing benefits. There is also a group of folks out there who no longer draw and no longer collect benefits and then you also have an increasing number of people who accept part time work even though they are wanting and available for full time work.

In third world countries you have the concept of 'underemployment' which we are starting to develop...thats where people are employed at jobs that they are way over qualified for....but they have to work so they take what they can get rather than what they are trained to perform.

That is a very risky situation for a society to find its self in. Its like us, we complain about illegal immigrants but realistically what kind of jobs has our economy created over the last twenty years?

OpenMindedRepublican March 29, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

You really dont see a trend of constantly lowering unemployment since the 80's?

Relative to how many people have just 'given up' - here is overall employment :

Explained in more depth here :

Underemployment I do not know hoe you would capture. I do know that personal income as a portion of GDP is at very nearly an all time high, but that does not account for the increased portion going to the top few. (I'd show the graph for that one to, but I canna seem ta get it ta export to a usefull format)

BTW - The FRED site where I been getting all of this data? Coolest. Thing. Ever.

OpenMindedRepublican March 29, 2009 at 10:49 AM  

Heres one that may apply to underemployment, although it could also realate to women entering the workforce preferring part-time employment.[1][id]=AWHNONAG#

TAO March 29, 2009 at 3:42 PM  

Are we writing a research paper on the side, or maybe working on our dissertation? :)

Now, with your first and second graph you could argue that we have fewer and fewer people being unemployed (we have more people CONSISTENTLY employed) but once unemployed it takes longer to find a job. Now, once you are unemployed for a certain period of time you are considered to able or willing to work and or seek work and you get dropped off the stats.

Theoretically then, you could end up where no one works and no one is employed but the government would show zero or full employment.

Now, while we have squeezed the number of job losses during a recession I would argue that we have done so because more and more of our employment is in lower paying service, healthcare, and government sectors.

Two interesting points of your participation graph...which I am at a loss to explain are:

In the peak era of Clinton we had private sectors jobs at about a max of 68% of total non institutionalized population 16 years or older. We also know that we had an unemployment rate of that would mean that 28% of the population was institutionalized or....

Then you have to ask what happened from about 1974 to about 1980 to cause the dramatic increase in number of folks...well, you had the end of the draft, and the end of the baby boom entering the what else? Did we put that many people in prison during that period of time?

TAO March 29, 2009 at 4:46 PM  

If you read the description of the one graph you need to ask why 16 years of age?

Summer jobs? Farm labor?

Then what about retirees?

What about military?

OpenMindedRepublican March 30, 2009 at 2:22 AM  

Mostly I am looking at all of this stuff because I keep finding data that does not match my expectations.
I have a general rule about keeping my mouth shut when I don't know what I am talking about. Since I am getting into more and more in depth discussions online about various issues, my choices are to either limit my comments to personal experiences, or to educate myself about the larger perspective.
The beautiful thing about ignorance is that is so easily cured...

TAO March 30, 2009 at 4:10 AM  

First off, when ever using numbers, make sure you know what they mean and how they are generated. There is a big difference when someone discusses our budget deficit, versus our national debt, versus underfunded liabilities.

Ignorance can be cured but it is not as easy as you think it is....

Most people can seek education to reinforce their ignorance.

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