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

    Quote Originally Posted by AP
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. employers added a solid 223,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, a seven-year low. But wages failed to budge, and other barometers of the job market paint a mixed picture. The unemployment rate fell from 5.5 percent in May, the Labor Department said Thursday. But the rate fell mostly because many people out of work gave up on their job searches and were no longer counted as unemployed. In addition, the percentage of Americans working or looking for work fell to a 38-year low, a possible sign of more discouraged job seekers. And employers added 60,000 fewer jobs in April and May combined than the government had previously estimated.


    The figures capture the persistently uneven nature of the job market's recovery from the Great Recession. More people had begun looking for work in May, yet all those gains were reversed in June. And wages, which had shown signs of finally rising earlier this year, have now stalled.
    News from The Associated Press


    Quote Originally Posted by CSN


    (CNSNews.com) - A record 93,626,000 Americans 16 or older did not participate in the nation’s labor force in June, as the labor force participation rate dropped to 62.6 percent, a 38-year low, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    In June, according to BLS, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, hit 250,663,000. Of those, 157,037,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

    Record 93,626,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Declines to 62.6%


    So is this good news, bad news, mediocre news or something else?
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    Interesting thread. It motivated me to look up some articles on the labor participation rate because it isn't something I think about too often. I thought the following was an informative article on the subject:

    "The US labor force participation rate has fallen by about three percentage points since the Great Recession. Of that decline, Barclays thinks two points are due to population aging. The rest it blames on less participation within various age groups. Now overall, the US still has participation rates higher than Germany, Japan, and UK — the other large, advanced economies Barclays examines in a new report. But US participation dropped a lot more than those nations between 2005 and 2014. And it has particularly dropped a lot for working-age Americans versus that age group in other nations.

    The difference is more notable among women:

    The most jarring nugget was that only the US saw a decline in the prime working-age female participation over the two last decades. …

    US female participation peaked in the mid-90′s and has since been trending downwards, while in Germany, Japan, and the UK the rate continued to inch higher."

    There's Low Labor Force Participation Because Long Term Unemployment Has Risen - Forbes

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    I am loathe to put much stock into Labor Force Participation because it addresses everyone not in the workforce equally without looking into their reasons. For example, someone who has retired at the age of 60, someone who is completely discouraged from looking for a job, and someone who is a hippie with zero desire to ever work are all treated the exact same.

    Instead, if you wish to look into individuals that have dropped out of the labor force temporarily because they are discouraged, but have expressed a desire to resume looking for work in the future, I would suggest looking at the U6 unemployment rate.

    That rate dropped from 10.8% to 10.5% in the most recent jobs report.

    Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization

    The only reason that I hesitated on calling this report mediocre (even though I ultimately selected positive) is because of the wage stagnation.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    Interesting thread. It motivated me to look up some articles on the labor participation rate because it isn't something I think about too often. I thought the following was an informative article on the subject:

    "The US labor force participation rate has fallen by about three percentage points since the Great Recession. Of that decline, Barclays thinks two points are due to population aging. The rest it blames on less participation within various age groups. Now overall, the US still has participation rates higher than Germany, Japan, and UK — the other large, advanced economies Barclays examines in a new report. But US participation dropped a lot more than those nations between 2005 and 2014. And it has particularly dropped a lot for working-age Americans versus that age group in other nations.

    The difference is more notable among women:

    The most jarring nugget was that only the US saw a decline in the prime working-age female participation over the two last decades. …

    US female participation peaked in the mid-90′s and has since been trending downwards, while in Germany, Japan, and the UK the rate continued to inch higher."

    There's Low Labor Force Participation Because Long Term Unemployment Has Risen - Forbes
    Yeah, but have they accounted for population increasing, not just aging? Our population is on the rise.
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  5. #5
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    It's also in my humble view that we need unemployment. Corporations need someway to increase their production somehow. With technology, that is going to change everything, but if everyone is employed hypothetically production is at maximum. Then what?

    If you are looking at the system as a whole, you want some people unemployed so that they can be employed to increase production. What the exact amount is I don't know. I just wanted to put that out there for consideration.
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    4 million boomers are retiring every year so of course the labor participation rate is going to fall. That's a good thing in every possible way for the younger generation. Over 200,000 people got jobs in May. Using the participation rate to attack the steady improvement in the labor situation is sort of like looking at a line score of a baseball game and giving the win to the team with the most hits, not the most runs.

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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    I suspect this is good news - of a kind - and probably the stuff we should get used to hearing in "good times". The problem of the next fifty years will be what to do with an economy where large numbers of people are simply not needed to work in that same economy. When we went from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy there was an increase in jobs - in the USA so much so that we had to import tens of millions of new workers to fill that need. There were no loss of jobs - but rather a gain in jobs and wages.

    Transitioning from an industry economy to a service and technological economy leaves large numbers of people behind.

    Today, we have to face reality that the guy with an IQ of 85 who got home from WW2 or Korea and got a union job in a factory and lived a solid middle class life for the next forty years is simply not going to be the scenario for people today. Today, if that same person can say welcome to walk mart or do you want fried with that order and make minimum wage for thirty hours a week -= that is the new reality for tens of millions. And you cannot live that same solid middle class life on that sort of existence.

    So get used to these monthly reports just like this one. Its only going to get worse over the next decade or two and three until we face the changing realities and adapt to them.
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by sookster View Post
    If you are looking at the system as a whole, you want some people unemployed so that they can be employed to increase production. What the exact amount is I don't know. I just wanted to put that out there for consideration.
    There's something left out of your calculation. Who's going to employ the people who are let go because of increased production? The companies that are inefficient? They wouldn't seem to be a good long term employment bet. It would seem that the economy would need growth in the number of new businesses that get created when there's a consumer base with enough income to support that growth. That takes us to income. One of the things that's missing in our recovery is a healthy growth in income. So the business world is somehow managing to thrive with fewer workers who are not seeing the benefits of corresponding increase in income. That sort of destroys the idea that everyone, owners and workers, should benefit proportionately in a healthy economy. I'm referring, of course, to the third-world level of income and wealth disparity in this country today.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    So get used to these monthly reports just like this one. Its only going to get worse over the next decade or two and three until we face the changing realities and adapt to them.
    While I agree with almost everything you wrote above that quote, I think your conclusion overlooks what a lot of habitual critics of this economy avoid mentioning: the voluntary removal from the work force of about 4 million boomers retiring per year. With our low birth rate, we're going to see a decrease in the working age population over the next few decades which might be offset by the ability of businesses to improve productivity. But to do that we need to have workers who are well educated/trained to do the types of jobs the future economy needs. Many job openings even go unfilled today because employers are not finding the type of skilled workers they need. This country is behind on providing an educational system that provides that education and training. We're still using an idea born in the 19th century that all kids have to go through the same educational pipeline instead of beginning at the earliest of school ages trying to sort kids out by inclination and talents to an education that they can use.

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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by digitusmedius View Post
    While I agree with almost everything you wrote above that quote, I think your conclusion overlooks what a lot of habitual critics of this economy avoid mentioning: the voluntary removal from the work force of about 4 million boomers retiring per year. With our low birth rate, we're going to see a decrease in the working age population over the next few decades which might be offset by the ability of businesses to improve productivity. But to do that we need to have workers who are well educated/trained to do the types of jobs the future economy needs. Many job openings even go unfilled today because employers are not finding the type of skilled workers they need. This country is behind on providing an educational system that provides that education and training. We're still using an idea born in the 19th century that all kids have to go through the same educational pipeline instead of beginning at the earliest of school ages trying to sort kids out by inclination and talents to an education that they can use.
    I agree with much that you wrote here. And having spent 33 years in education - I can tell you conclusively that we badly need to regear much of what we do particularly for the non-college bound student.
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