Saturday, July 3, 2010

One Number on the State of the Economy

Amidst the flood of economic statistics and endless presidential statements that the economy is "on  the right track" (well, it is for Goldman Sachs and BP, neither of which is being held responsible for its behavior), here is the one number you need to pay attention to:

% of US Working-Age Population Employed: 65%.

That is the lowest this century.

Note the consistency of the trendline. It has been declining so steadily that you can hardly even see the period officially counted as "recessionary." Of course, there are two ways of interpreting these data. Rather than indicating steadily rising misery, they could be indicating that the number of people so rich they no longer need a job is exploding. I recently checked my hometown in upstate New York and another town in Maine; that was not the case. However, where I happen to reside, in the Washington DC metro region, that is the case - the place is just booming. If your hometown is also booming, please let me know.

GRAPH -- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My hometown is planning on shutting the Library in 2011. We need $ 1.5 Million to keep it going per year.

And 10 npercent of the houses are in foreclosure.