Today’s starting point for our random topic walk was jobs. Here is Scott’s original post announcing the topic.
My favorite line from the meeting was Shovels or pitchforks” I think due to Charles.
Out of print NBER report ” Output, Employment, and Productivity in the United States after 1800” Lots of interesting detail in the table below. Among other factoids: growth in the number of slaves prior to the Civil War. Decline of agriculture in percentage terms over the entire period, and ultimately in absolute terms.
FRED time series on Agricultural employment from 1970 to 2012. This is was discontinued after flat-lining at 1.5% for several years.
From the transcript:
This is an economic revolution. You may think we’ve been here before, but we haven’t.
This time is different.
Jobs and the Great Depression and whence came the recovery to fuller employment: this paper explains structural employment following the depression. How the recovery stalled (and crashed) because FDR was pushed to balance the budget; how the recovery recovered when the US no longer had to balance the budget because — war. How experienced people who were long-term unemployed were unable to get jobs until enough inexperienced people were pulled into the military and out of the workforce and deficit spending created jobs. The paper points out that the economic dynamics led to the Work Product Administration becoming, instead of a route back to the workforce, the kiss of death.
Perception of reality changes when you have data — like from the St Louis Fed (Federal Reserve Economic Data = FRED) . Some people say: the unemployment rate is down. Yay!!!!. Others say: the labor force participation rate is at an all time low. Boo!!!
Interesting what you can find when you dig into the data. The rate for men, steadily declining since about 1955. The rate for women increasing from about that time until around 2000, where it flattens.
BLS Labor force participation rates breakdowns.
Engineering graduates in China from issues.org (2007)
Health care professional costs. Raw data, here.
Teacher pay, advocacy from the NEA.
Link to the article on “Where did the government jobs go” from NY Times, recommended by Marion.
“Guaranteed Income and Choose Your Boss.” The author is Morgan Wrastler. I believe that’s an alias. The post is from 2013. The idea is interesting and worth more serious thought.