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Fri Feb 12, 2016, 06:21 PM

Workforce Participation Rates

Trump was using the percentage of non-participation in the work force as a measure of unemployment.

I just got hold of a Merrill Lynch publication that speaks to this.

Workforce participation has steadily grown since the 1960s driven by the advent of the booms and women going to work.

It increased during the 1980s and reach a peak in 1999 at the top of the DotBomb bubble when it was right at 67% (33% unemployment according to the Donald).

It took a dip with the bursting of the DotBomb and Enron bubble then flattened out to 66% in 2009.

Since 2009, it has made a straight line decline to 62.7%.

There was a second graph which showed by age group changes from 1992 to 2012:

75+ went from 4% to 9%
65-74 went from 17% to 28%
55-64 went from 57% to 64%
25-54 went from 83% to 81%
20-24 went from 78% to 71%

Note the precision of these numbers may be a little weak because I was reading off a 2" x 1-1/2" picture.

The numbers purprotedly come from BLS in Oct 2015.

Looks like people are working longer and squeezing out the youngest workers.

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Reply Workforce Participation Rates (Original post)
1939 Feb 2016 OP
LiberalEsto Feb 2016 #1
hfojvt Feb 2016 #2

Response to 1939 (Original post)

Fri Feb 12, 2016, 06:28 PM

1. Looks to me like some older people are working longer to avoid starving


since many don't have pensions. or their pensions were ripped off, or their Social Security isn't enough to pay rent, buy food, and obtain prescription medications.

Please let's not make this into a war between the young and the old. Many older people would love nothing better than to retire, if they could only afford it. I know people who retired, then went back to work after retiring because they were broke.

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Response to 1939 (Original post)

Fri Feb 12, 2016, 06:57 PM

2. looks to me like more young people are going to college

and graduate school.

I wonder if I was counted as employed when I was working as a TA? Probably not, I was not even paying social security taxes.

To get an idea of the participation rate though there probably should be some percentages.

That is, what is the difference between 1992 and 2012 in terms of
the percentage of the population which was


as an increasing percentage of the population moves into the 55+ age group where the participation rate has always been lower, then the participation rate of the total is bound to go down.

I look forward to the day 2 years one month and two days away (not that anyone is counting) when I, myself, will no longer have to participate in the labor force. Sing it with me "tale this job and shove it ..."

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