click for larger graphics

All charts courtesy of Bianco Research except as noted

Source: Bianco Research

Category: Employment

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.

15 Responses to “Employment/Unemployment Pictures”

  1. VennData says:

    Have We Lost the War on Drugs? – WSJ

    “…After more than four decades of a failed experiment, the human cost has become too high. It is time to consider the decriminalization of drug use and the drug market…”

    Legalize. Create jobs. Create revenues. Save on the law enforcement and incarceration costs.

    Freedom is an American thing. The anti-drug zealots will be laughed at like the Prohibitionists are, and forever will be.

  2. econimonium says:

    The austerity crowd should keep looking at that Eurozone/US employment graph. And keep looking at it until the absorb what it says and shut up.

  3. Lukey says:

    Still four million jobs short of the January 08 peak. With 12 or 15 million more people added since then. At some point we are going to have to start thinking outside the box on how to get back to robust job creation. What we are doing isn’t working. Why are Americans giving up on starting new businesses?

  4. Jojo says:

    @Lukey – We will continue to see declining job availability as ever improving automation/robotics destroy more jobs than are created.

  5. bear_in_mind says:

    @VennData: While I agree with your idea of bringing the war on drugs to a close over the long-term, I would expect it would shift a fairly large group of gainfully employed workers to the UE line. There’s certainly more productive endeavors for which their labor could be applied, however, not without significant retraining; and if we’ve learned nothing from the last several recessions, it’s that employers are loathe to commit funding toward training programs for new hires. Then there’s the population of would-be former felons who’ll be quite fortunate to find any payroll employment, even in the low-wage service sector.

  6. bear_in_mind says:

    One other general observation on Bill McBride’s excellent UE chart (Percent Job Losses in Post WW II Recessions). The graphs clearly display a structural shift in UE commencing in the early-80′s.

    Since the end of the 1980 recession, the aftermath of each successive recession has taken longer to return to the former peak employment level. More and more, the trend line is resembling a “hockey stick”.

    Now, some will say the sample size is too small, but much like the melting of polar ice, how many cycles does one need to observe to finally acknowledge a change in trend?

  7. brianinla says:

    The only thing that can be concluded by looking at the Eurozone graph is the EU is a failed concept and will eventually be dissolved. To claim austerity is responsible for that graph is to walk down a faith-based path over an analytic-based one. Which is what economics has evolved into anyway. I look forward to the day economists are held in the same regard as astrologers.

  8. SecondLook says:

    I would love to see those charts done on a rolling ten year basis, as Shiller does for P/E ratios. It would give a greater sense of the long term trends in American employment.

    Another interesting data set would be to contrast and compare our numbers to the two largest Western economies, Germany and Japan.

    On the worker participation rate: It has always had some flaws. The numbers estimate the age group from 16 to 65 – excluding a fairly large number of people over 65 who work, or would work if they could, and it excludes those who are in the “informal” workforce (commonly referred to as the black, or underground economy) which by most estimates is about 5-8% of the total economy, along with those who work at unpaid jobs. For example, teenagers helping in a family business, not being paid per se, and therefore not considered as participating in the workforce.

  9. Lukey says:


    Boy, and I’m accused of ignoring the dynamics of a growing economy. Did you click the link under my post? While your suggestion is factual in a static sense, we can create more jobs (and take the pressure off the automation dilemma) if we can get new business startups back on an upward trajectory. I’m suggesting (as is Carl Schramm of the Kaufmann Foundation which is the source of that chart) that we need to figure out what we’re doing that has business startups stuck in low gear if we want to solve our job creation problem.

  10. Iamthe50percent says:

    Looking at the graph of U-6, the real unemployment rate, it seems that every time that unemployment gets low, it is necessary to have a financial panic to put working people in their place i.e. begging for work.

  11. James Cameron says:

    > Still four million jobs short of the January 08 peak. With 12 or 15 million more people added since then.

    From Feb 2008 thru 2009 approx 8.7 million jobs were lost. 2010 thru 2012 saw a little more than 5 million jobs added based on preliminary BLS revisions and estimates for Nov and Dec of last year. Net loss since January 2008 of approx 3.6 million jobs.

    For what it’s worth, if you begin the clock for the current administration in July 2009, time for its policies to begin to take effect, it added nearly 4 million jobs.

  12. theexpertisin says:

    I keep looking at the number of folks who are not in the labor force for whatever reason. It is touted as being high, and rising.Is this a significant statistic?

    Does a lower unemployment rate have something to do with folks opting out of looking for work and not being counted as “unemployed”?

    Or, is this another bogus talking point?

  13. SecondLook says:

    I was curious as to how unemployment looked when you averaged it by decades, taking a broader perspective if you will. Thanks to the BLS and a spreadsheet, it only took a few minutes to compile these numbers:

    1950′s: 4.61%
    1960′s: 4.88%
    1970′s: 6.14%
    1980′s: 7.25%
    1990′s: 5.84%
    2000′s: 5.27%

    The average during those 6 decades: 5.67%

    What we see is unemployment being basically consistent during the 1950′s and 60′s, spiking up during the 70′s and 80′s, then falling back down during the last two decades – but still higher than it was from 1950-1969. Of course, there is a correlation between the higher rates of unemployment since 1969 and the higher rate of worker participation. Taking that into account, the numbers suggest that, over the long term, unemployment, while fluctuating, has been fairly steady in term of the total population.

    As for the last three years, I guess the 1980′s must be ancient history to most, for the average over 2010-2012, 8.7%, compares to the similar period of 1982-1984 when the rate was 9%.

    Personally, I think it’s very likely, if we’re lucky, that this decade will average close to the same unemployment numbers as the 1980′s; around 7.25% or so.

  14. Conan says:

    Here is where the jobs are being created:

    There was a bid change in the US around 1980. The double recession and high employment just before and after in my opinion was a major change in the US from a Manufacturing based economy of the 30+ years from WWII to a services based one. Now about 30 years later we are going to change again.

    Today I believe we are also going through a transformation. What this new economy will be called, I don’t know…but so far you are having a major displacement of current labor. What benefits there are are to the few at the top of the scale in education, talent or capital…and to lower paying labor….basically a hollowing out of the middle.

    When this current secular Bear Market ends we will most likely start our new phase. No one can predict with certainty when this will be, but most likely as this is a major disruption in the type of economy that we have and a debt implosion also, this Bear Market or economy most likely will be longer than the historical average…

  15. Despite the fact only 103k new jobs per month are required for equilibrium, the glide path for U-3 implies the FOMC’s 6.5% target won’t be attained ’til 2017. The low interest rate regime will be in play for a very long time…