Saturday, January 10, 2015

Labor Force Participation Rate: Lowest Since 1977

I previously posted/complained about my dislike using 'Unemployment' as the sole indicator of jobs in the US (on my old blog, MofaME); and my preference for using 'Employment' instead since it is a better indicator that is impacted by fewer variables, such as the Labor Force Participation Rate.

Here is a worrying chart tracking LFP since 1977, and illustrates another reason the "improved" Unemployment rate that the government touts is very misleading and isn't as strong of a metric for economic vitality as we are led to believe.

Chart via Zero Hedge.

I didn't include the graph directly below this one because it is somewhat misleading because it does not normalize for the overall increase in population or the higher percentage of elderly.

There are a few poignant facts that are mentioned though:
Another month, another attempt by the BLS to mask the collapse in the US labor force with a goalseeked seasonally-adjusted surge in waiter, bartender and other low-paying jobs. Case in point: after a modest rebound by 0.1% in November, the labor participation rate just slid once more, dropping to 62.7%, or the lowest print since December 1977. This happened because the number of Americans not in the labor forced soared by 451,000 in December, far outpacing the 111,000 jobs added according to the Household Survey, and is the primary reason why the number of uenmployed[sic] Americans dropped by 383,000.
Check out the full post for more.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Song of the Moment: Adam Levine - Lost Stars

Just watched 'Begin Again' a few days ago and loved this song:

I definitely think it has more impact after you've watched the movie and know the backstory, but it's still excellent on its own.