Friday, September 02, 2011

US Employment to Population Ratio Continues Dive

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US employment to population ratio* for August 2011 declined to 58.5%, down from 58.6% for July 2011, and down from 58.8% a year ago. The US employment to population ratio has been trending downwards since 2000.

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. The US employment to population ratio reached an historical peak of 64.4% on an annual basis in 2000.

*The BLS defines employment and population (civilian noninstitutional) as follows:
Employment consists of all persons who, during the reference week (the calendar week including the twelfth day of the month), (a) did any work at all (at least 1 hour) as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family, or (b) were not working but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent because of vacation, illness, bad weather, childcare problems, maternity or paternity leave, labor-management dispute, job training, or other family or personal reasons, whether or not they were paid for the time off or were seeking other jobs.... The civilian noninstitutional population consists of persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia who are not inmates of institutions (for example, penal and mental facilities and homes for the aged) and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Diego said...

So what?

Charts without analyis are uninteresting. Give us some critical thought and fresh ideas. It's no wonder you have blogged for 6 years and have nearly zero comments.

For example, what happens when this number goes to 50%, or 30%, or 20% and our society continues to function? What then?

Some have predicted a future supported by technology that allows most of society to live in leisure. You might see a cliff we're falling off, I see a future generation that can enjoy what we've built and not work 60% of their waking hours. You want a 20 hour work week? Good, cause here it comes.

Did you think the singularity was a joke?

William J McKibbin said...

Thanks for the feedback, Diego -- I was just reporting the facts regarding the US employment to population ratio since 1948 -- regarding my "critical thoughts and ideas," read my many posts closer -- thanks again for your feedback.

William J McKibbin said...

PS: The current US employment to population ratio of 58.5% stands at its lowest level since 1976 for August data when the percentage stood at 57.9%...

Mark Smith said...

The chart would look a lot differnet, if it was for adult males only, which is what the majority of the workforce was back in the 50-60's. Back in 1969 I could walk into almost any factory and get hired on that very day- there is no way that chart equates to my experience.

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