Thursday, January 7, 2016

Five graphs for 2016: #2, discouraged workers

 - by New Deal democrat

This is the 4th installment of 5 graphs to watch in 2016.  So far I have covered:

#5.  The yield curve
#4.  The trade weighted US$
#3.  The inventory to sales ratio

Number 2 is a carryover from last year.  While 2015 saw a big improvement in involuntary part time employment, which hopefully will continue, the number of those so discouraged that they did not even look for work, even though they want a job, went stubbornly sideways until the last quarter of 2015.  It is still elevated well above its rate in the later part of the 1990s through 2007:

If the economic expansion continues, this number should improve, as more and more of these discouraged workers re-enter the labor force and actively look for, and hopefully find, work.  I would like to see at least 3 months of numbers below 5.2 million before concluding that this number is no longer "poor."