Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The amazing decline in employment

From Transparency Revolution:

The rise and fall of employment in America, 1948-2012. (Source: Bureau of labor Statistics.) The trend line is the civilian employment to population ratio. Our current doldrums appear to be a kind of bouncing around at the bottom after a fairly steady 10-year decline. The drop is precipitous with the onset of our current troubles, but things have looked pretty bleak since the late 90′s, mitigated by a few years of partial recovery. How do we turn this line back the right way?

Here’s a close-up. The past four years start with one of the longest and steepest drops in the past 50.

Especially in an election year, it’s easy to make this all about the current occupant of the Oval Office or his predecessor and current compatriots in Congress, depending on your leanings. But maybe that’s too easy.

There could be other reasons to account for the drop. (More thoughts on that here.)

On Facebook, Wayne Radinsky comments: “It will be interesting to see what happens when the robotics revolution really takes off.” If that’s not what we’re already seeing, we’re in a lot of trouble.

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