The problem with the nature of unemployment 2004 and now


Again I apologize for simple links, but my time is being held hostage to circumstances. No one in the hubbub of today linked to Guerby’s post, so I thought it worth a look, along with AB thought on the matter, from Kash and Angry Bear. Maybe another Bear can add more.

Kash who provides charts on labor force participation by education and gender, and raises the questions of what they mean. (2004)

Angry Bear in 2004:

In an earlier post Kash gave some data on declining labor force participation, a decline that is particularly sharp among men and people with a high school degree or more education. We don’t really have an explanation for the pattern, though one theory is that people are going back to school — basically building up human capital while waiting out the bad times (Matt Y. and a number of CalPundit commenters second this theory.)

The economists over at Economists for Dean have what is likely another big part of the explanation: rising disability claims. When a worker claims disability, they are not counted as part of the labor force, and disability claims are up a lot. Economists for Dean cite a recent NYT Op/Ed by Austin Goolsbee that addresses this point:

William Polley adds charts and insight to the questions of 600,000 jobs loss 2008-9.

Our own Spencerof course weighs in with charts and insight as well for today.

Laurent Guerby translation. The site has a link to the original post in French with her current thoughts on the misleading nature of our statistics currently 2008-9.

Update: And Tom on latest employment figures Ouch