Ron Griess of the Chart Store goes mad with this enormous collection of employment related chartage:



















Category: Data Analysis, Employment, Markets, Wages & Income

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

24 Responses to “Huge Employment Chart Roundup”

  1. dsawy says:

    What is most remarkable about these charts is that the buffoons in DC probably don’t look at them. They just keep trotting out their past policies from prior recessions and administrations and proffering those. Anyone looking at these charts would and should entertain the idea that “this recession isn’t following the pattern of all the others…”

    Furthermore, looking at the very first chart, one can see that the recessions since 1990 are all taking longer to recover unemployment. ie, this is not a new manifestation in the US economy – this is a situation that has been growing worse and is now so bad that it is well outside the bounds of statistical deviation.

  2. dsawy:
    And that is one reason why the Occupy movement is taking off. And the plutocrats are already afraid. The RWNJ’s are trying to discredit it, and the Democratic establishment(the DCCC) is trying to fund raise off of it. Steve Israel should he ashamed of himself.

  3. krice2001 says:

    So we’re caught between the often faulty thinking that “this time it’s different” with the facts that this time it really DOES look different. It’s often said (sometime on this blog) that history doesn’t repeat but it often rhymes. I guess it’s important to understand what we’re rhyming with, right now. I don’t claim to know.

    I do appreciate that ECRI projects that a new recession is already baked into the cake. I don’t pretend to understand how all of their leading indicators are enmeshed to provide the results that they do – but their accuracy on business cycles is pretty hard to refute. We’ll see what that does to the charts going forward, I guess.

  4. mathman says:

    Speaking of farm payrolls, best keep an eye out for food prices (esp. meat right now) in the next year:

    (from Cryptogon):

    While the protesters are demanding somebody DO something, their energy is being diverted from what they really need to do (according to George Mobus):
    Occupy Home Street
    Protests Miss the Real Issue

  5. dsawy says:

    The problem for the OWS protests is that they are easily dismissed based on nothing but the ‘optics’ (as political hacks like to deem such things now).

    What I’m seeing in pictures from these “protests” makes the parking lot sideshows of Grateful Dead tours of my youth look clean, orderly and civilized by comparison. When hippies and stoners tottering around the country in VW microbuses look clean, orderly and respectable, the protestors have a serious “optics” problem.

    Then there’s the little issue that when the press starts interviewing these people, they have the usual left-wing grab-bag of issues. That’s the way these “spontaneous” left wing protests always work:

    “We’re having a protest march on Saturday.”

    “What are you protesting?”

    “Bring whatever you’ve got.”

    That doesn’t work here. I’m not saying that the protestors should be able to discuss monetary policy in great detail, but they’re protesting “corporations.” That’s a pretty wide net. Sure, there’s plenty of behavior on Wall Street that should be protested and demonstrated against. But I’ve yet to hear clear, articulate denunciation of issues where Wall Street is concerned. They could be protesting against HFT’s, if they knew what they were. They could be protesting against TBTF banks and the corrupting influence on Fed policy. They could be protesting the Fed’s ZIRP-to-infinity policy as a war against people who have saved for their retirement. They could be protesting about the fraud perpetrated against savers, pension funds, et al by selling worthless securities – from the ARS scandal in 2007/2008 to RMBS paper that’s effectively worthless.

    Instead, they like to talk about comp packages. OK, that’s a valid issue, but there’s ways to attack that indirectly that would make more sense. Prohibit anyone from sitting on more than one corporate board, which would get a bunch of fresh blood into boardrooms, for example. Prohibiting any deductibility of any exec’s comp package who has been in the job less than, oh, five years… that would hurt a bit. Taxing windfall comp packages for execs who were in their jobs for less than two years at, oh, 99% would solve the rest of the problem I should think. But instead of proposals or even a targeted denunciation of the problem, we just hear about “fat cats” and so on. We’ve been hearing this same old line for the last 100+ years. There are more fat cats now than there were during the Gilded Age.

    They should be protesting the incestuous club of the Ivy League mafia in DC and Wall Street, and especially Harvard and their “Business School,” but hey, that would probably hit a little too close to home for some of these kids.

  6. econimonium says:

    It doesn’t bother me at the moment that the demonstrations don’t have a coordinated “theme” at all. This is the first phase where everyone is just pissed off. They will find a voice, and leaders too will step forward. Toss in unions, the students, and people of ALL ages and it will make the tea baggers look like a tempest in a …teapot. Witty aren’t I?

    This has the ability to REALLY upset the apple cart here and the next elections. I had written elsewhere that in the C suite of my company, everyone is rooting for these people. Why? We’re not in Financial Services and we’ve been screwed by the lack of demand and non-bailouts for us. So why shouldn’t we feel screwed? The fact that executives (and it’s NOT just at my place but among people I know too) are saying these people have a point, the financial plutocrats ought to really be shaking in their shoes.

    So my hat is off to these people! I’d join you except I’m busy actually trying to create some jobs…unhindered I might add by regulations, taxes, Obamacare, or the Federal Government. Instead hindered by LACK OF DEMAND. Brought to you by the folks at BoA, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Goldman, and let’s not forget the late great Lehman.

  7. pintelho says:

    just horrible…horrible…a million f words want to be spewed from my mouth.

    131 million for total NFP…and 23 mil are in government…and most of that is at the local level.

    In other words…all this talk about government bloat being the problem…that bloat is definitely not going into anyone’s pockets….unless they are all making $1.7 million annual salaries.

    federal spending to GDP is at 28%…federal government payroll vs total NFP = 2.15%…

    the bloat certainly isn’t coming from having too many federal government workers…

  8. willid3 says:

    every one (pundits any way. and congressman) seems to be unimpressed with the OWS crowd. of course they were equally unimpressed with the Tea Party crowd too. and both seemed to have issues coming up with a standard demand. so can OWS become the same? probably. depends on how angry they are. and if they can get some support from some deep pockets that the Tea Party did. thinking they do have the right targets though. and maybe they have the right idea, just need to consolidate it. maybe

  9. Dow says:

    Those who are about to fall from grace, never see it coming. Pride always goeth before the fall.

  10. NoKidding says:

    “This has the ability to REALLY upset the apple cart here and the next elections.”

    Who they gonna vote for?!

    The tea party replaced some democrats with republicans, but in the end none of those republicans were of a type not already run-of-the-same-old-mill.

  11. dsawy says:

    What’s the government (especially this administration) going to do to the bankers?


    This goes back to my point about the Ivy League mafia. They’ve been programmed for a long time to believe that they’re the “best and brightest” (despite both sufficient and overwhelming evidence to the contrary). They think that they’re terribly smart, and that the “unintelligent” in this country can be safely ignored – and not just about these protests, I’m talking about systemic, long-term issues, like trade policy, fiscal policy, monetary policy, foreign policy, etc.

    The Ivy League mafia controls Wall Street, the government (they have the Supreme Court completely locked up between Harvard and Yale), and even the media. There’s a very narrow group of people who now control “leading opinion” in this country, and they can successfully deflect almost any criticism from either the left or right, as long as it doesn’t come from within their circle. This isn’t a situation like the American Revolution so much as it is akin to the French Revolution.

  12. ashpelham2 says:

    The hypocrisy of this country is the root cause for the manifestation of thenumbers you see in these charts.

    The hypocrisy of each and every American, who wants everything more cheaply, who doesn’t want to be taxed, and who thinks there should be no more government or labor unions. This hypocrisy is so typical of the way an entire generation has grown into the people they are today. Effectively, in their effort to raise profitability for their employers, they have sold off the opportunities that existed for them, to come in at the ground floor of a company, sweeping those floors, and work one’s way up the ladder. Ground floor now means a bachelors degree that you borrowed $50,000 dollars for, and then working for the same level wage, inflation adjusted, as the guy with a high school diploma 30 years ago. Our standard level of unemployment, 6%, now is just a pipe dream, and the great American dream, which was comprised of not only pipes, but bricks, and wood, and windows, and a nursery for the baby, is now a declining, depreciating asset in most locales.

    I see all of the blow hards involved with the OWS parades as a product of the “me” generations’ own doing. But, sadly, it’ll go about as “viral” as everything other thing this generation of people are involved in: it’s today’s pop culture till they growed bored. Or the next season of American Idol starts. And at the end, there won’t be hope or change, and probably doesn’t even deserve a wiki page. Back to Tweeting now children! Because the world can change with just the right facebook page! ~ Captain Sarcasm, formerly ashpelham2.

  13. Julia Chestnut says:

    I got pissed at the Washington Post because some smug jerk of a guy wrote a front page article calling the protestors “anticapitalism.” They are not: what they are saying is that it is not capitalism to socialize the losses and privatize the gains, as has been done spectacularly and openly during this crisis (and was done more quietly before that). These “hippies and malcontents” or “white, spoiled suburban kids” (depending on who you read) are calling for a return to actual capitalism, with some modifications so incredibly modest they are traditional to the American model. I happen to disagree that it will be enough – but I’m cynical. This is the bonus army, nothing more, nothing less.

    And I find it incredibly easy to sum up their message – including their 22 points or so that they’ve posted: “Down with fake people, up with natural people.” They are anticorporatist. Which is why Obama is wrong to think that they are a natural source of enthusiasm for him or his party.

    And as for the employment situation? This is what both the Executive and the Legislative branches of government should have thought about when they let employment fester for their own reasons. You leave people out of work for 40+ weeks and you create a core element of dispossessed who will redefine themselves without your input.

    I’m seriously concerned, though, because I know what they did to the bonus army, and the civil rights workers, and the women’s rights agitators, and the progressives, and the labor organizers. . . .and there is always an element of society saying that they got what they deserved.

  14. rj chicago says:

    Keep on posting please – right with you on your comments brother!!! However I do have one issue and it is this: The one thing that I think so many on these blogs miss is the fact that mankind is inherently depraved and that in the arc of eternity 0f which human history is but a segment on that arc – we are all destined for one of two places – heaven or hell. That’s it – that is the end game -The problem is most folks in this cess pool of immorality don’t even know that!!! In their blindness their world view is thus: “This is it – the end game – there is nothing after this” and such is this that informs their motivations. And therefore the standoff in the center of town waiting to see if the sheriff or the rustler / robber will unload first.
    I believe with my whole being that if we were to take a more eternal view of events and minimize the temporal I can imagine that much of this would just simply go away – but alas that is not the case for as Christ himself said – Narrow is the gate – few will find it – broad is the path to destruction!!! Um I choose to be in the company of the few – not the many!!!
    Rj Chicago

  15. BusSchDean says:

    Julia: You are absolutely correct!! Here are my thoughts…apologize for the length

    An Open Letter to #OccupyWallStreet from a Business Dean

    You may feel the weight on your shoulders – Adam Smith presumably on the right and Karl Marx on the left. Because drama sells, the media will no doubt portray you as forcing a choice between the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Do not be fooled by this false choice. Capitalism, like some of your people, is already beaten and bruised and it has nothing to do with you.

    For too long these two great thinkers have been shown as opposites. Smith described the power of self-interest and the economic engine of free markets. Marx did not disagree, at least not initially. Both knew the economic structure strongly influences the social structure.

    Like you, Smith did not trust business. Only a few decades beyond feudalism, landlords and trade guilds increasingly dominated his economic world. The feudal system left in its wake a slowly fading aristocracy, large landowners, and a power vacuum filled by the new productive class. Trade guilds were not worker unions but rather industrial trade associations controlling the terms under which they sold their products and services and actively influencing their political environment. Sound familiar?

    Smith saw a better way, one that combined self-interest with a sort of buyer protection plan. Free, open, and competitive markets would reign in the collaborative greed of sellers and maximize buyer choice. Able to influence price through innovation for only a short period of time and incapable of stopping new competitors from entering the market, sellers would be forced to compete.

    Under Smith’s capitalism buyers are king and sellers compete to serve them. Forgetting for a minute the TBTF banks you are camped next to, we do see elements of that in business today, particularly among small- and medium-sized businesses. Surviving in competitive markets is not easy. Most small-business owners relish the challenge but also lose sleep on a regular basis trying to decide how best to move ahead or even how to make next month’s payroll.

    Marx did not disagree. He recognized the great power of capitalism to change societies and foster economic growth. More suspicious of political power than Smith, he worried that firms would work to capture and control markets. Smith characterized competitive markets as a race to be won by the most able, but also a race with rules. Marx worried about the ability of competitors to change the rules and the ability of a few to become economic overlords. With less than 0.5 percent of US firms generating over 50 percent of private payrolls, both would recognize the source of your anger.

    According to Marx workers under capitalism would be ground up along the way, an appendage to productive capital, increasingly incidental to the process. Ironically, of course, his writings spawned communism and the subjugation of whole societies.

    Our labor markets show elements of both Marx and Smith. The growth of relatively low-paying service sector jobs trivializes individual contributions. Yet the success of Apple and life of Steve Jobs reminds us of the true power of human ingenuity.

    Like you, Smith and Marx cared deeply about how the economy would impact society. And like you, neither would have bought into the great fraud called “trickle-down economics.” In Smith’s capitalism buyers win every day. There is no accumulation at the top to then trickle down. Marx worried that those who accumulated power would then plug as many leaks as possible, reducing the trickle to a tinkle. Perhaps you have seen our corporate tax policies.

    As you consider your next move do not be fooled by false choices. Markets can change lives for the better but sellers of products and services – including banking, investments, credit, and mortgages – must be forced to compete and must have transparency. Speak for both Smith and Marx by demanding an end to such practices as off-the-books bookkeeping and using transfer pricing to hide profits off-shore.

    Finally, to the extent that we have failed to teach our students the true meaning and importance of competitive markets, business deans around the world owe you an apology. This is not a matter of business ethics, though a worthwhile topic in its own right. This is a matter of the integrity of markets and future of capitalism.

    Take care and drink plenty of water.

  16. dsawy says:

    What would be nice to see in all of this is a clear, unequivocal articulation that what the bankers (and many large, multinational businesses) are engaged in cannot, in any honest way, be called “capitalism.”

    In a capitalist economy, failure has a cost. In capitalism, society doesn’t take on the burden of failure to protect the incompetent. In a truly capitalist economy, capital is taken away from the incompetent and it flows in the direction and into the hands of those who can maximize it.

    That’s NOT what is happening here. What we have here is called many things, be it “crony capitalism,” mercantilism, quasi-fascism, etc. But it isn’t capitalism, and the “invisible hand” is being brushed aside by the bankers and grifters at all levels of the economy.

    BR was in favor of taking the banks under, breaking them up and getting rid of the deadwood that way. I’m in favor of allowing them to go belly up and fail. I think that the bankers have so thoroughly infested the policy making (and execution) organizations that a government take-under/over would benefit the same people who are benefitting now, only in different amounts. The best solution to deal with imperious rich fools is to make them humble poor fools, and allowing the banks to fail, opening up civil actions for fraud and malfeasance and clawing back the comp packages from the frauds would be one way to handle this situation.

    The reason why this isn’t happening is that bankers are threatening policymakers and the public with financial suicide bomber logic: “Take me down, my finger comes off the button, and you’re all going to go down with me.” This tactic has worked up until this point, because banking has become opaque and so absurdly complex that people and policymakers are scared that the bankers truly do have a Doomsday Machine up their sleeve. The problem for the bankers is that the threat of “If I go, you go too!” works only when there is credence to the threat of mutually assured destruction.

    Sooner or later, people will realize that Iceland told the bankers to shove it, and Iceland is still here. Lehman and Bear went down, and we’re still here. Even Credit Anstalt went down, and we’re still here. Sure there’s pain and discomfort. But in the scenario where the banks fail, the bankers have to share in the pain and discomfort. Misery prefers company.

    At some point, someone in the public arena has to grow a set and say “OK. We’ll just see about that threat of yours.”

  17. mathman says:

    meanwhile out on the resevation (you gotta see this):

    year-old Lauren Hummingbird wants a cell phone for Christmas – and not just any old phone, but an iPhone. Such a request normally would be met with skepticism by her father, Cherokee Nation employee Jamie Hummingbird.

    He could dismiss the obvious reasons a kid might want an iPhone, except for this – he’s a proud Cherokee and buying his daughter the phone just might help keep the tribe’s language alive.

    Nearly two centuries after a blacksmith named Sequoyah converted Cherokee into its own unique written form, the tribe has worked with Apple to develop Cherokee language software for the iPhone, iPod and – soon – the iPad. Computers used by students – including Lauren – at the tribe’s language immersion school already allow them to type using Cherokee characters.

    (changing subjects now)
    The sad part about the protest movement – and i’m all for it (shit, nothing else is working – may as well try) – is that at the glacial pace “reforms” by government catch up to the demands of “the people” (oh, like the end to the wars Obama promised, enforcement of existing financial regulations, sticking to the rule of law, fair and livable wages, protecting the environment, green jobs, etc.) it’ll be far too late. Here’s what’s on the horizon:
    Sick Greek economy takes heavy toll on health
    (Reuters) – Greece’s debt crisis is hitting the health of the nation hard, with the number of suicides increasing, more people turning to drugs and prostitution and rapidly rising rates of HIV infections, researchers said on Monday.

    As usual, entropy is winning.

  18. Futuredome says:

    dsawy, Anstalt’s collapse brought the New Deal and Nazism. Think about it for a second.

    You try and intellectualize “bank failure” and don’t understand how connected that is to economic failure. It creates “attitude” of government control that the people demand then to “counteract” collapse.

    You also have to understand, not all banks will fail and the ones that do, will create new banks if not overseen. The deadwood isn’t in the banks, it is in the capital owners itself. They run the system and thus capitalism it is. Capitalism risk is useless. Everything is risk.

  19. Futuredome says:

    “In a capitalist economy, failure has a cost. In capitalism, society doesn’t take on the burden of failure to protect the incompetent. In a truly capitalist economy, capital is taken away from the incompetent and it flows in the direction and into the hands of those who can maximize it.”

    Wrong, wrong and more wrong. In a capitalist economy, the capital owner sets up the “corporation”(alot of times “corporations” as they aquire ton). The Corporation then progresses, succeeds. The capital owner then racks up huge profits. Some reinvested, others “saved”. When the economy goes belly up, the capital owner may lose a corporation, which you confuse as “capitalism”. This refutes your point my man. Instead of capital being taken away from the incompetent, it is hyper-valuated(which a “gold standard” would do quite well) for the same guy that created it in the first place. While the laborer and petite bourgeois lose everything. Thus taking capital away from those who can maximize and CONTINUE to be used by the capital owner, trying the same tricks. Innovation ceases. You see, capital owners are so inbred right now, they refuse to move to a different business style. This is what happened to capitalism pre-New Deal. Once the free land gave way by the 20th century, the US collapsed in 1929. Instead of the economy rebounding, it just kept going down and down and down into a epic deline. It was about ready to reaccelerate again before FDR nationalized the FED in March of 1933 and began his NGDP program besides other programs to refind innovation and production.Which caused the attempted coup by the duPonts(forrunners of the Birchers) as the financiers lost all power. This is what the banks want to avoid. They want to avoid the return of GS,crushing regulations on money flows and a populist FED. Hence, “letting it fail” is impossible without a backup plan to stave off government control.

    Capitalism and capital ownership is as totalitarian as Marxism, with a under the table body count just as bad. Once democracy is taken away, the field is bare and reality is shown.

  20. dsawy says:

    @Futuredome: Trying to equate the body count of capitalism with marxism is just plain silly. It’s the sort of nonsense spouted by college students, especially graduate students.

    There is no more murderous bunch in world history than the communists. Their body count in just the 20th century is easily north of 50 million. If you want to read up on the things like deliberate famines killing millions, I’d suggest the works of Robert Conquest (in particular, his rather grim tome “Harvest of Sorrow”). For another perspective by other former socialists/communists/believers, “The Little Black Book of Communism” is more into counting piles of bodies than policies leading to famines. Those authors put the pile of stiffs at somewhere north of 80 million.

  21. It is interesting to look at actual Employment Rate. For the first time we have an expansion in which Employment Rate is actually sliding. Until this rate picks up, it is unrealistic to expect any meaningful and lasting recovery… The percentage of people who are contributing to this economy has been sliding since 2001!

    Employment Rate chart:

  22. [...] Huge Employment Chart Roundup Barry Ritholtz (hat tip reader Mark P) [...]

  23. BusSchDean says:

    dsawy & Futuredome:

    Theorists on either side (I believe) would say neither were fully tested, leaving the outcome of your debate to historians. A more fruitful debate would be how best to bring real transparency and integrity to what we do as, in practice, capitalism and communism suffered from have too little of both. Post-feudalism, people who want power have to work at it (as opposed to inherit it). Whether via capital accumulation or one-party communist control, people who achieve power are loathe to give it up. Worse, they want to transfer it to their next generation, undercutting the presumed meritocracy. In that way Golub’s complaint that donations to charity are tax deductible and giving money to his grandchildren is not resembles a communist party leader jockeying for their grandchildren to have rosy futures. The problem here is one of POWER. Transparency and integrity in the process can increase public oversight and voice.

  24. Theravadin says:

    I think that the recent comments by more than a few out in the infosphere that the real issue is how to break the ability of money to buy politicians is pretty accurate. Add a capital concentration chart to these charts, as well as a source of funds for politicians chart and you’d have a pretty ugly picture… even if employment and capital concentration may only be peripherally linked.