Working age men still can't find work
Back in July 2005 I did one of my more popular postings, "Yes, the job market really is weak". It had currency mostly due to my nifty graph showing the percentage of employed individuals in an American demographic group almost universally in need of work which doesn't wax and wane with educational or retirement opportunities, nor with social trends toward greater workforce participation rates. That group was men, age 25-64.
Back in July, a little number crunching showed that the US jobs picture was pretty piss poor. In light of the general excitement about the January 2006 jobs numbers together with the upward revisions to those of late 2005, I thought I'd return to the graph and update it for the last two quarters of 2005. The overall story? More of the same.
The four-quarter moving average in 2005:IV shows the US economy has only just recovered to where it was in 2002:IV: 83.1% of what I'll call "working age men" are employed. That's up a microscopic 0.3% from where we were when I penned the first post with this data in July. And we are still far far below the plateaus of the previous two job booms in the late 90s and the late 80s -- forget about the jobs boom of the late 70s. Even worse, 8 quarters since the most recent trough and we're only up to the nadir of 1992!
Let's come clean. This economy continues with a massive disconnect between the largesse of capital and the scraps thrown to labor. And in case you hadn't noticed, it's too late to get in to the whole real estate agent thing now.