Saturday, July 9, 2011

Employment Population Ratios by Gender

Apologies for the blog silence last week.  I had to go out to California on business, and ended up with a bunch of early meetings and early flights, and was unable to get a blog post done.  I'll try to make it up a bit this weekend.

You probably heard that the employment report on Friday was very mediocre.  My preferred indicator is the employment/population ratio of men aged 25-54, which has been gradually slipping for decades.  As you can see in the graph above, it's been moving sideways the last few months, after recovering only very slightly since the depths of the great recession.

Interestingly, female employment has not recovered at all, and in fact has continued to worsen during the "recovery":

It worsened still further in June.  Looking at a longer picture:

You have to go back to the late eighties to find this small a fraction of the working age population of women working.  Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, I leave to the judgement of my readers...


Emil said...

Employment for women between 25-54 is at 69 %.

For men, it's hovering near 81 %

And we are supposed to believe that unemployment stands at 9.1 % across the nation.

Two questions:
1. Does these graphs include the 'discouraged'?
2. How do you get these graphs?
I've been looking at the BLS site but no luck.


Stuart Staniford said...


1) People who are formally "Unemployed" answer survey questions saying that they are not working, but have attempted to find work in the last period of time (4 weeks IIRC). Other folks who are not "Unemployed" but not "Employed" either might be any of disabled, supported by spouse/parents/family, engaged in some kind of black market activity, retired early, or in college.

2) Go to On the top menu choose "Subject Areas/National Unemployment Rate". Go down to the "Databases" section, and choose "Labor Force Statistics including the National Unemployment Rate", then pick "One-Screen Data Search". Then fill out the form according to your taste.

exiledbear said...

You can also get unenjoyment statistics from, I believe as well. They back out all the lies that have been put in over the years.

IIRC, the unenjoyment rate is pretty close to 25%.