Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I didn't cover it at the time, but I like to track the working age employment/population ratios, and the October numbers came out November 5th. The above graph shows both the male and female ratios for the last two and a half economic cycles (since 1990). As you can see, the 2010 statistics are pretty bleak - the fraction of the population working is not behaving like it's recovering at all, instead sinking or at best holding steady for a month or two.
Since there has been some domestic economic growth during 2010, you'd think the problem is that productivity is rising fast enough to create growth in output without growth in the employment ratio. The productivity statistics don't exactly bear this story out though: