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Old 04-05-2013, 05:47 PM   #4201
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Between 1983 and 2000, the ratio grew dramatically. This might reflect the fact that the overall demographic in the US was changing during this time, with many women of the baby-boom generation entering the workforce for the first time, as well as a higher ratio of adults of working age to adults of normal retirement age.

Now, the baby boomers are starting to retire in large numbers. At the same time, the fact that they tended to produce fewer children per couple than their parents means that fewer new adults are entering the workforce to take their place. The ratio of people of retirement age to people of "traditional" working age is rising.
Good narrative but what if it doesn't fit the numbers?

I'm still trying to find the primary source data, but here is an interesting chart (I can't be bothered to print-screen-edit-save):
US Employment-Population Ratio - Age 55 and over

[Edit: Found primary source data which matches up with the above info.]
http://beta.bls.gov/dataViewer/view/...es/LNS12324230


It appears to show that the 55+ cohort is working more, not less, after having bottomed out around the early to mid '90s.

Last edited by Scrappy Jack; 04-05-2013 at 05:52 PM. Reason: Found primary source data
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:21 PM   #4202
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It appears to show that the 55+ cohort is working more, not less, after having bottomed out around the early to mid '90s.
If you separate the data out by gender (which that first link allows you to do), you will see that this figure is strongly biased upwards by a general increase in the number of women in the workforce as a whole. The ratio of men 55+ in the workplace is exactly the same today as it was in 1979, and less than in any year from 1948 to 1978.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:04 PM   #4203
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If you separate the data out by gender (which that first link allows you to do), you will see that this figure is strongly biased upwards by a general increase in the number of women in the workforce as a whole. The ratio of men 55+ in the workplace is exactly the same today as it was in 1979, and less than in any year from 1948 to 1978.
But increasing for the past 20 years rather than decreasing per the intuitive assumption that more Baby Boomers are leaving the work force. Granted, I think it was 2012 or 2013 that the youngest boomers technically hit 62 ("retirement age"), but I found that trend to be surprising.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:24 PM   #4204
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But increasing for the past 20 years rather than decreasing per the intuitive assumption that more Baby Boomers are leaving the work force. Granted, I think it was 2012 or 2013 that the youngest boomers technically hit 62 ("retirement age"), but I found that trend to be surprising.
Oh, yes. I'm only offering one potential explanation for the data. And remember that the Social Security age is not the same as the actual retirement age. Many pension-based positions offer full retirement after 20 or 30 years of service, and that would put a large number of male boomers into the retirement pool starting in the 1980s.

These are relatively minute details, however. The overall data clearly shows that at present, our total percentage of employed persons of working age is roughly consistent with a mean average for the entire period subsequent to WWII, and higher than it was during the period of greatest prosperity from the late 40s through the early 60s.

An extremely simplistic interpretation of that data would suggest that for maximum prosperity, we need to decrease the number of people employed.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:23 PM   #4205
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What is the definition of "Labor Force" that we are using for the entire period?
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:02 PM   #4206
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What is the definition of "Labor Force" that we are using for the entire period?
In the data which I presented, the Labor Force is defined as the sum of all Employed and Unemployed persons.

Employed persons consist of: persons who did any work for pay or profit during the survey reference week; persons who did at least 15 hours of unpaid work in a family-operated enterprise; and persons who were temporarily absent from their regular jobs because of illness, vacation, bad weather, industrial dispute, or various personal reasons.

Persons are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work. Persons who were not working and were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been temporarily laid off are also included as unemployed.

Persons who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force. This category includes retired persons, students, those taking care of children or other family members, and others who are neither working nor seeking work.

Thus, the labor force participation rate is the ratio of the size of the labor force to the size of the total civilian non-institutional population.

The term "civilian non-institutional population" refers to people 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia who are not inmates of institutions (penal, mental facilities, homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.


Source for definitions: Labor Force Characteristics (CPS)
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:52 AM   #4207
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The fallacy of small datasets.

Somewhere in this thread I posted an image of essentially the same thing, but going all the way back to the 1940s or so. In this context, the high employment of the late 90s / early 00s appears to be an anomalous bubble. Ah, here we are:



Source for data: CPS Tables

You can see how after WWII, the employment rate dipped below 54% for the only time in this range, as a bunch of former soldiers re-joined the "civilian labor force" and had trouble finding jobs. Then the data re-equalized (presumably as a result of women who had taken jobs during the war exiting the labor force and raising children), and things settled down for a while.

Between 1948 and 1984, the E:P ratio moved back and forth across a relatively narrow range. Given that this period includes both the "golden age" period of the 1950s and early 1960s, as well as the "shitty" period of the late 1970s, we might consider a ratio in the range of 55-60% to constitute "normal".

Between 1983 and 2000, the ratio grew dramatically. This might reflect the fact that the overall demographic in the US was changing during this time, with many women of the baby-boom generation entering the workforce for the first time, as well as a higher ratio of adults of working age to adults of normal retirement age.

Now, the baby boomers are starting to retire in large numbers. At the same time, the fact that they tended to produce fewer children per couple than their parents means that fewer new adults are entering the workforce to take their place. The ratio of people of retirement age to people of "traditional" working age is rising.

And then, of course, you have the concept of "surplus labor." During the 1990s in particular, we saw a dramatic upswing in the creation of entirely new job categories which, if we're totally honest with ourselves, didn't really contribute much to the overall economy. You can only have so many people employed as "canine dietary consultants" and "corporate image specialists" before your economy starts to look like something Douglas Adams would have written about.

In other words, it appears that we are currently returning to normal.
After WWII, about half of the women who worked during the war kept on working. If Greece thinks they're going through "austerity" now, it was nothing compared to what the government instituted after the war. "Get your *** a job" should have been our national motto, and it's pretty clear that slashing the size of the federal government and the fact that our country hadn't been decimated by war made for a booming economy.

Still, we didn't see female labor participation rates like we do now, or close to a female majority of college students, like we do now. We're now comparing labor percentages for male/females who are basically all expected to go into the labor force, whereas that wasn't the case 40-70 years ago.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:51 AM   #4208
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Lots of different things going on with the labor force participation rates and employment-population ratios. My favorite theory is that the participation rate for younger cohorts has fallen because of the reduction/elimination of lead in their environment (paint, playgrounds, fuel, etc).

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Old 04-09-2013, 11:54 AM   #4209
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My favorite theory is that the participation rate for younger cohorts has fallen because of the reduction/elimination of lead in their environment (paint, playgrounds, fuel, etc).
Wait, I thought lead caused crime?

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Old 04-09-2013, 03:06 PM   #4210
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
Lots of different things going on with the labor force participation rates and employment-population ratios. My favorite theory is that the participation rate for younger cohorts has fallen because of the reduction/elimination of lead in their environment (paint, playgrounds, fuel, etc).
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Wait, I thought lead caused crime?
Those are actually theoretically compatible charts.

Lower labor force participation rate of 16-24 year olds is likely due to more students attending school for longer rather than joining the work - or criminal - force. [Edit: There are some studies linking lower lead in the environment to better school outcomes, etc.]

Likewise, higher participation rates for 55 - 64 year olds is probably a combination of good factors (longer lifespans with more mobility and less physically demanding work) and bad factors (people do or feel they need to work longer in life).
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:17 PM   #4211
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What the **** is this?

First lady hosts Memphis soul and Justin Timberlake at White House

The video is on the top of the drudge report.
DRUDGE REPORT 2013

Sooo let me get this straight.
White house closes down, all these performers come in, and we pay for it? I looked on PBS, but it's not on there. What the hell, if we're paying for it we should be able to watch it.


Everything Obama, his dumb family, and the stupid administration does i hate them more. Didn't think it was possible, but i do.


KING OBAMA
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:00 AM   #4212
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Pretty Much.


Im not sure what's scarrier, this guy having a national news outlet, or people actually watching this and believing/agreeing with him:



"British Conservatives like Thacther are way to the left of Liberals in the United States..."

This guy wouldn't know objective journalism if I punch him in the face.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:06 PM   #4213
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
Lots of different things going on with the labor force participation rates and employment-population ratios. My favorite theory is that the participation rate for younger cohorts has fallen because of the reduction/elimination of lead in their environment (paint, playgrounds, fuel, etc).

"Calculatedrisk, my go-to site on housing matters."

...Paul Krugman
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:14 PM   #4214
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Abortion and Dr. Gosnell’s Little Shop Of Horrors | TexasSparkle | a Chron.com blog

How can PA stop inspecting a "women's health" clinic--where surgeries are peformed--since 1993?! The PC Police, that's how. It's just plain "uncomfortable" to talk about abortion, especially when the doctor simply pulls the viable late-term baby out and snips the spine with a pair of scissors.

So, the accusation is hundreds murdered and (through records) seven verified, hundreds deformed or given diseases, a botched government system of review, and zero time by the MSM. Oh, did I mention the high school student who administered pain meds and assisted in the surgeries?

OK, it's now safe to return to wall to wall gun ban coverage, and maybe the ridiculous budget proposal (hint: tax the rich).
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:40 PM   #4215
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:49 PM   #4216
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"British Conservatives like Thacther are way to the left of Liberals in the United States..."



Quote:

"The state has no source of money, other than the money that people earn themselves. If the state wishes to spend more, it can only do so by [robbing you].

...there is no such thing as public money, there is only taxpayer's money.

...prosperity won't come by [adding programs], you dont grow richer ordering another checkbook by the bank. An no nation ever grew more prosperous by taxing its citizens beyond their capacity to pay. We have a duty to make sure every penny piece we collect in taxation is spent wisely and well.

...protecting the taxpayer's purse, protecting the public services, these are our two great tasks. ...we all have our favorite causes, but someone has to add up our figures. [Everyone has to do it.]"


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All levels of income are better off than they were in 1979. What [he is] saying is that he would rather the poor were poorer provided the rich were less rich. That way you will never create the wealth for better social services, as we have. And what a policy: yes, he would rather have the poor were poorer provided the rich were less rich...
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I have the smae contempt for his socialist policies as the people of East Europe who have experienced it... I think I must have hit the right nail on the head,when i pointed out that the logic of those polices that theyd rather have the poor poorer. ...so long as the gap is smaller, they'd rather have the poor poorer. You do not create wealth and opportunity that way, you do not create a property owning democracy that way.
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If I were: There'd be no European Central Bank accountable to no one, least of all to national parliment. The point of that kind of EU central bank is no democracy; taking powers away from every single parliment and being able to have a single currency under monetary policy and interest rates that takes all political power away from us. ...A single currency is about the politics of EU, it is about a Federal EU through a back door.

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Old 04-10-2013, 01:16 PM   #4217
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:28 PM   #4218
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:01 PM   #4219
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In another thread, hornetball posted a very interesting chart.



I recently heard a very interesting narrative about price-setting of oil and how it has affected US (and global) economic growth over the past several decades. The story goes that, up until the 1970s, the Texas Railroad Commission was the effective price setter for crude and they were able to keep it pretty stable around $1.75 - $2.00 per barrel (nominal) from around 1950 to about 1970.

Then, in the 1970s, US supply growth was outstripped by global demand growth and Saudi Arabia and OPEC became the defacto price setters. Their primary goal was definitely not American economic stability, so they started jacking up the prices.

In 1970, a barrel of crude oil was about $1.80 (nominal). By 1971, it was $2.24. By 1973, it was $3.29 and by 1980, it was $36.83 (+20.46 times the price of 1970).

Most people point to Volcker's Federal Reserve raising interest rates and various monetary policy experiments as the cause of the "break" in inflation.

What I have never heard referenced until recently is the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978. It has some potentially very interesting connections with today and the intermediate-term future's energy price outlook.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:29 AM   #4220
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Okay, I need some answers. When did the liberals start pushing people towards the idea that meat=heart attack and vegan=live forever?

I'm just stunned that people still think eating meat is going to kill you or is harmful in your diet. I just can't ******* grasp it that people preach a high carb/low protein diet as "heathly".

I'm actually worried that there will start to be bans on **** like steak and bacon because being vegetarian/vegan is the new trend and people STILL argue that a high fat/high protein diet is BAD.

****.
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