Friday, August 06, 2010

US Employment to Population Ratio Dismal

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics released new data today that shows the US employment to population ratio is continuing to plummet. As of July 2010, the employment to population ratio stood at 58.9%, down from 59.5% last month.

[Click to Expand]

Many economists believe that reporting the number employed as a percentage of the civilian population provides a more accurate description of the current state of employment than conjecturing the number of "unemployed" in a population. Since 2000, employment in the US has declined from 64.4% to 58.9% as a percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population, its lowest level since 1982.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Related Posts:

Percentage Employed in US Continues Slide

Unemployed Should Consider Emigration

Depressions Past and Present

Main Street USA in Economic Depression


TJIC said...

Great graph!

Tamara said...

Economics major that found this to be extremely helpful in explaining the jobs report released today. Great information!

Anonymous said...

Is it also possible to get such a graph by segment, partitioned by income as well as private versus government employment?

1. If the majority of job losses are in the lower income group, then its direct impact on US Economy should be low: the taxes being paid and the consumption that drives the economy is mostly (at least 90%) from the top 25%, is it not?
2. While public sector employment pays taxes, their incomes come from taxes (mostly paid by the private sector), so we can simply calculate net cost of the government employment. Then, we should b able to graph the reduction in taxable income and the increase in government cost and see how that ratio has changed.

Anonymous said...

According to BLS, th numbers are:

YES: 64.4% in 2000
BUT: it was 58.5% in June 2010
BUT: it declined to 58.4% in July

I don't knwo where you took those number, but this ( ) show the above.

Anyway, I also think it's a far better measure of the economy and employment. And it will decline further for a while for sure...

Dr William J McKibbin said...

Hi Anonymous, I am using non-seasonally adjusted data from the BLS, whereas the link you provided is seasonally adjusted. But yes, both sets of data show that the employment to population ratio is still declining, and I agree that we will likely see further declines in this ratio in the coming months, or even years. Thanks for you comment...

Anonymous said...

Its good analysis. Has the populattion been adjusted for retirees? Since the population is aging and with baby boomers beginning to retire, this may skew results.

Dr William J McKibbin said...

Hi Anonymous, thanks for your comment. Definitions for the populations are provided in the previous post at:

You can also visit the BLS site for definitions also linked in the site above, thanks again.

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