Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pictures worth thousands of words....

This first chart - courtesy of - shows the percentage of the population in the workforce in the US. In the late 1940's and 1950's the percentage adults participating in the labor force exceeded 85%.

This chart shows similar data just for a more recent time period and thus the swings seem amplified. You can see the way labor participation has fallen off the table in the past couple of years. This is not the trend of a healthy economy poised to dominate the global economy for the coming decades. It's more like the trend of a economy obsessed with American Idol and hitting the early bird special at the Olive Garden.

Finally, consider this picture of the percentage of persons unemployed that have been unemployed for more than 1/2 a year. Another example of why the Great Recession will be with us for a long time even if we enter a "statistical recovery" in 2010.


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