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Old 05-03-2019, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,576 posts, read 3,001,676 times
Reputation: 12765

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Well.

The lead article in today's NYT addresses the issue of flat wages across the last decade (until their very recent and modest rise) and presents the very well supported conclusion that (among other things) wages did not rise with the supposedly booming job market for a couple of very simple reasons: the job market wasn't really that hot, and the entire picture of unemployment may be misrepresented.

Gosh, where have we heard all this before?

From the article:
The recent uptick in wage growth suggests a simpler explanation: Perhaps the job market wasnít as good as the unemployment rate made it look.

The governmentís official definition of unemployment is relatively narrow. It counts only people actively looking for work, which means it leaves out many students, stay-at-home parents or others who might like jobs if they were available. If employers have been tapping into that broader pool of potential labor, it could help explain why they havenít been forced to raise wages faster.

It appears as if that is exactly what is happening. In recent months, more than 70 percent of people getting jobs had not been counted as unemployed the previous month. That is well above historical levels, and a sign that the strong labor market is drawing people off the sidelines.

(The NYT is running open-paywall for a few days, for reasons worth reading about while you're there, but if you need to get past the paywall limitation, use an incognito/private browser window.)
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:56 AM
 
606 posts, read 264,664 times
Reputation: 1468
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post

It appears as if that is exactly what is happening. In recent months, more than 70 percent of people getting jobs had not been counted as unemployed the previous month.
How can this be? I thought it was common knowledge in this forum that people with gap in their resumes have a tough time getting hired. But now more than 70% of recent hires were previously unemployed.. :/
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,576 posts, read 3,001,676 times
Reputation: 12765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liar_Liar View Post
How can this be? I thought it was common knowledge in this forum that people with gap in their resumes have a tough time getting hired. But now more than 70% of recent hires were previously unemployed.. :/
Maybe the whole thing is not as simple as the general perception and government stats present.

Which means maybe more complex consideration is due all proposed fixes...
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:43 PM
 
11,118 posts, read 8,523,617 times
Reputation: 28059
Folks, the unemployment numbers have been run the same way for decades. It's published on the BLS site. No manipulation.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:53 PM
 
606 posts, read 264,664 times
Reputation: 1468
Mod cut: Quoted post deleted.

Doesn't the U5 & U6 rate take discouraged workers ("Folks leaving the labor force") into consideration?? If what you are saying is true, how come U5 and U6 unemployed rates have been improving as well since 2011 (https://www.macrotrends.net/1377/u6-unemployment-rate)? :/

P.S. I am not pro/con any past and current president...

Last edited by PJSaturn; 05-03-2019 at 04:53 PM..
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:56 PM
 
1,091 posts, read 627,481 times
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Don't forget, the same people who tear off statistics from mainstream media articles and present them as a case for their problems are the kind that will be the first to blame the mainstream media as a whole for all the problems in society today. Watch out for these people, y'hear.
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:10 PM
 
1,085 posts, read 1,583,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liar_Liar View Post
Doesn't the U5 & U6 rate take discouraged workers ("Folks leaving the labor force") into consideration?? If what you are saying is true, how come U5 and U6 unemployed rates have been improving as well since 2011 (https://www.macrotrends.net/1377/u6-unemployment-rate)? :/

P.S. I am not pro/con any past and current president...

The employment : population ratio didn't really start improving until Q2 2014. That's the metric I think tells the most complete story. U3/5/6 rates all depend on subjective criteria to try to segregate those that "want to work" from those that don't. What we've seen (and what is a central point of the article referenced in the original post) is that many people who supposedly don't want to be in the workforce will actually take jobs when the demand (i.e. wages) for their labor is enticing enough.
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:39 PM
 
1,085 posts, read 1,583,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
Folks, the unemployment numbers have been run the same way for decades. It's published on the BLS site. No manipulation.
Agreed. The question isn't one of manipulation, but relevance.
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:45 PM
 
1,623 posts, read 1,012,775 times
Reputation: 2819
Underemployed # is more important. I know a lot of people with jobs that never get enough hours.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,576 posts, read 3,001,676 times
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Point of fact, nothing in the OP or sensible comments here has anything to do with "blame." No one here, least of all me, is "blaming" anything about their job situation on these reports and statistics. That's an entirely collateral discussion, being dragged in by the usual suspects who tend to argue from their US Ministry of Truth briefing sheet (or tweet).

I'll recap what I've said in a number of threads across the last year: I've been around long enough to have gone through several economic cycles, including the dismal employment situation of the late 1970s when youth unemployment was nearly 20%. And the last couple of times unemployment hit such lows as to be considered effectively zero. I clearly recall both such latter times as a frustrating period when businesses were hiring zombies, criminals and terminal couch potatoes to fill warm body slots. Fast food cashiers too stupid to find the enter button twice without help. Rude, smelly cretins at customer service counters. Store floor personnel who went into a rage if asked for help.

I see none of that over the arc of this supposed boom time. Have not run into any egregiously bad CS or counter people at all.

More to the point, the historically universal response to a very tight job market is rapidly rising wages. To say we haven't seen that, except in a small boost over the past few months, is an understatement.

And in discussions across the spectrum, from this lousy saloon to those among educated and aware peers, and in quite a few media stories across the political spectrum (except the USMoT), the ground-truth reporting about the scarcity of hiring and mystification about where all these super-hot job markets are persists.

The evidence is plentiful that we simply aren't in a world with a hot job market and 2% unemployment. Not except in the official government stats.

But no one, including me, is saying these stats are false in any deliberate sense. (I do note that this administration already has a wide pattern of burying or discarding info it doesn't like; while I hope the working economists and analysts generating the reports are still honest, I have to wonder if there's reporting bias at some level. But that's an aside; let's assume the figures are as reliable or whatever as they've always been.)

But... remember the dinosaur counter in Jurassic Park? It worked perfectly. It did the job it was assigned to do. No one questioned it... until the actual, ground situation changed beyond its capability to adapt. I suggest that's what happened: the reports are same-old, same-old, reliable as a Buick Straight-8, but due to groundswell changes in our economy, they're no longer reporting reality... only the predetermined number of dinosaurs.

And now it's a headline story, saying almost exactly that. I find that... enlightening.
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