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What We Read Today 16 January 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number accepted.

Today there is a graphics-rich seven article review of the state of U.S. employment, including an assessment of the impact of the Great Recession on employment.

The last seven articles are focussed on employment.

Click on graph for larger image at Calculated Risk.

Click on graph for larger image at Calculated Risk.

Click on graph for larger image at Calculated Risk.


One theory is that the weak job market is causing people to simply give up looking for work - they're crumpling up their résumés and going home. An recent study from the Boston Fed suggested that these "non-inevitable dropouts" might even account for most of the decrease. Among other things, the authors noted that the labor-force decline has been far sharper for all age groups than simple demographics would predict.
  • Pre-recession study predicted historic labor market drop (Stephen Gandel, Fortune) The Great Recession has not created an employment participation rate problem? What has happened to date was largely 'baked in the cake' from before the crash? It appears that quite a bit of the decline was pre-ordained based on long-term demographic trends. A 2006 research paper by Federal Reserve economists projected that year-end participation for 2013 would be less than 64.5% (it was actually 62.8%). Thus more than half of the 5.2% decline since mid-2006 was projected by the study (2.7%). Read The Recent Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Implications for Potential Labor Supply (Stephanie Aaaronson, Bruce Fallick, Andrew Figura, Jonathan Pingle and William Wascher, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System). Comment: The paper is 154 pages long.



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