View Poll Results: Regarding the unemployment information in this thread ...

Voters
26. You may not vote on this poll
  • This is good news (I lean left)

    8 30.77%
  • This is good news (I lean right)

    0 0%
  • This is good news (I'm a centrist)

    1 3.85%
  • This is bad news (I lean left)

    0 0%
  • This is bad news (I lean right)

    1 3.85%
  • This is bad news (I'm a centrist)

    0 0%
  • This is mediocre news (I lean left)

    6 23.08%
  • This is mediocre news (I lean right)

    3 11.54%
  • This is mediocre news (I'm a centrist)

    3 11.54%
  • This is something else (Post and Elaborate)

    4 15.38%
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Thread: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

  1. #61
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    But if you look at the end of the graph, you can see that the downward trend has slowed drastically. In fact, it has virtually stopped for the last 18 months or so (overall).

    Since I see no evidence that baby boomers have stopped aging, then the explanation seems fairly obvious to me - those nearing retirement simply cannot afford to retire and have to stay in the workforce; a position born out (to some extent at least) by the fact that the number of Americans over 55 has increased drastically since the end of the Great Recession...FAR higher then any other age group (to my knowledge).


    BTW - I would like to add that the U-3 rate is, imo, a waste of time. And the fact that the Fed used to use it as a benchmark for raising rates but has now abandoned it and no longer uses it as a major reference point for employment backs up my viewpoint to at least some extent.
    An unemployment measurement that can theoretically be at zero when only one American is employed even if every other eligible American wants to work but they had to give up looking for work because there were no jobs (as the U-3 could be) is a waste of time to me. Plus, not counting people as unemployed who want a job desperately but are forced to give up looking for work (as the U-3 does) is ridiculous, imo.
    Labor participation always drops during a recession, sure, and it has slowed, mainly due to the improving of the economy, but this long term trend will continue. You're also looking at a short amount of time relative the long term aging of the population. The graph has multiple instances where trends slowed or even had one year jumps, ultimately though, our country is getting older so an overall labor force participation rate just isn't going to be useful. Focusing on the working age population is much more meaningful which I've provided.
    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

  2. #62
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    One other thing I forget to mention in response to some of the issues you raised: we spend thousands of hour teaching kids stuff that the vast vast majority never really need to know once they become adults all in the name of a broad education.
    I agree 100%. A few weeks ago a high school English teacher in the East Bay area whose students are 100% minorities went public saying she doesn't teach Shakespeare anymore. Her students don't relate to a 16th century Englishman and it was futile to make them try to learn it. It just never worked. You should have seen the conservative backlash, mind you, from people who couldn't correctly identify a quote from Shakespeare if their lives depended on it. I tried to remind people what trying to learn Shakespeare even for kids of anglo-saxon heritage even as far back as when I was in high-school. It was dreadful. There might have been 1 in 30 kids for whom this was exciting. We never went to plays. We just took turns reading the play with barely a shred of understanding and taught largely by teachers who were also just barely comprehending the dialog. It was in the curriculum because "everyone" assumed it had to be. He was the greatest playwright in the English language. Never mind the language he wrote in is scarcely recognizable to modern English. Beowulf and Chaucer were even worse. I'm not saying don't offer classes in the English classics but I am saying don't force kids to take it (and fail the exams) who will never be in the slightest way interested in it. A few months ago a math teacher wrote an article in Harper's that he felt there was no reason at all to expect kids to pass a class in algebra II in high school. Sure, give them a brief introduction to the basics and how it can be used in some highly technical occupations but no requirement to pass a course in it. Even algebra I was never going to be of any use to more than a tiny fraction of adults in later life but it was at least an introduction into higher math and getting just a passing understanding of the way math can be used to solve equations with unknown values could be made interesting for a lot of kids (again, teachers being adept at figuring out the way to connect abstract mathematical concepts to real life situations would be essential and I suspect that is what's lacking in most science and math classrooms around the country today). Teaching is the hardest job there is and we make it harder by forcing too many kids to try to learn things that they are either indifferent or even hostile to before anyone gets started. Here's what I think the educational approach in this country at each and every year a kid starts school: "Here's the really basic stuff; oh, you want to learn where this or that subject leads? Let us know and we'll put you on that track."

  3. #63
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    Since I see no evidence that baby boomers have stopped aging, then the explanation seems fairly obvious to me - those nearing retirement simply cannot afford to retire and have to stay in the workforce; a position born out (to some extent at least) by the fact that the number of Americans over 55 has increased drastically since the end of the Great Recession...FAR higher then any other age group (to my knowledge).
    A Gallup poll in Jan of this year found that only 1/3 of the oldest members of the baby boomers haven't retired. Furthermore, the SSA stats show that starting in 2011 the number of recipients of benefits tripled from the rate BEFORE the Great Recession. So boomers do indeed feel comfortable retiring. Nate Silver's "FiveThirtyEight" reports that the labor participation rate of boomers has gone down from 82% in 2003 to 66% by 2013. As far as baby boomers not ceasing to age after they hit 55, I zink you were just tryeeng to make ze joke, non?

  4. #64
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by sookster View Post
    I actually don't agree with my signature.
    Really? What's it for, then? Is that the norm on this forum?

  5. #65
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Lowest unemployment rate since before the Bush recession. Definitely good news.

    The vast majority of people who are not participating are not participating for good reasons. They're 17 year old high school students who aren't working because they're in school, they're medical school students, they're homemakers supported by their spouse, they're 78 year old retirees, etc. The perception that non-participating means that you gave up looking for work and just sit around on welfare is ridiculously far off base. The census measures how many people are in that category- discouraged workers. It is just around 0.5% of the population. That is up a bit from say 2006 when it was 0.4%, but that difference is pretty much negligible. It's just the inevitable consequence of a big recession that some people- in this case, a tiny number of people- will give up on the economy.

  6. #66
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by digitusmedius View Post
    Really? What's it for, then? Is that the norm on this forum?
    I'm not sure, I don't pay too much of attention. I thought the comment was so outrageous I made it my signature, so everyone reads it when I post something. I haven't seen him on these forums as much, but then again, I don't come to the forums that much either.

    I guess it's the minority? I'm sure other people do it.
    "Don't care. I don't care about polar bears, and I don't care about people who think our policies should be dictated by the effects on polar bears. Polar bears are basically Ice Monsters. Like that thing in the second Star Wars movie. **** em. And anything with more than four legs." -Deuce

  7. #67
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Strong job growth, but a mixed bag overall. As far as longer term trends go, it isn't much of a barn-burner, but positive nonetheless.

  8. #68
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    And as I said, the population overall has been getting older since day 1. And the work force grew long before Obama took office (grew by almost 8 percent in 40 years), not shrank. In 2000 it was 67 percent participation. In 2007 it was 66 percent. In January of 2009 it was 65.7. These were very slight drops.
    For your reading pleasure. An aging workforce does in fact account for a substantial chunk of the decline:

    Since the final quarter of 2007, the labor force participation rate has fallen from 65.9 percent to
    62.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014, a decline of 3.1 percentage points. In this report, the
    Council of Economic Advisers estimates that this 3.1 percentage point decline can be attributed
    to three main sources:
    About half of the decline (1.6 percentage point) is due to the aging of the population.
    Because older individuals participate in the labor force at lower rates than younger
    workers, the aging of the population exerts downward pressure on the overall labor force
    participation rate. While older workers today are participating in the labor force at higher
    rates than older workers of previous generations, there is still a very large drop-off in
    participation when workers enter their early 60s.
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/def...ion_report.pdf

  9. #69
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by digitusmedius View Post
    That ought to go into a file, along with "people will never accept Obamacare" and "this country will never support same-sex marriage" for famous conservative predictions that never came true.
    No idea what this means or why you think I'm interested in predictions about Obamacare or same sex marriage since we aren't talking about them.
    Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. ~W.C. Fields

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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    It is absolutely meaningless since the statistics are so juggled. Just because you stop COUNTING some people, it does not mean that they are no longer unemployed. The Labor Participation Rate is a much more accurate figure and it is the WORST in decades.

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