Friday, March 5, 2010

Where did you go Joe? A nation bids its unemployed adieu in this Great Depression

'Now Main Street's whitewashed windows and vacant stores
Seems like there ain't nobody wants to come down here no more
They're closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain't coming back to your hometown
-Bruce Springsteen

'Although he may not always recognize his bondage, modern man lives under a tyranny of numbers.'
-Nicholas Eberstadt

'There was a young man from Trinity,
Who solved the square root of infinity.
While counting the digits,
He was seized by the fidgets,
Dropped science, and took up divinity.
-Unknown Author

The Ancients used mathematics in order to try and understand the world around them.

Us Moderns use it to obfuscate.

First, let's agree on the basics.

The labor force is the number of people aged 16 or older who are either working or looking for work and the size of the labor force depends on two factors. The first is the size of the population, which is determined by rates of birth, immigration, and death. The second is the labor force participation rate—the percent of the population that is working or actively seeking employment.

From : Excluded are persons under 16 years of age, all persons confined to institutions such as nursing homes and prisons, and persons on active duty in the Armed Forces. The labor force is made up of the employed and the unemployed. The remainder—those who have no job and are not looking for one—are counted as "not in the labor force." Many who are not in the labor force are going to school or are retired. Family responsibilities keep others out of the labor force. People with jobs are employed, people who do not have jobs and are looking for jobs are unemployed, and people who meet neither labor market test are not in the labor force.

Now, let's break down the numbers from when this secular bear started in 2000 to the February 2010 report (data from

In the year 2000:

Civilian noninstitutional population : 212,577,000
Civilian labor force : 142,583,000
Civilian labor force particpation rate : 67.1%
Number of employed : 136,891,000
Percent of Population : 64.4%
Number of unemployed : 5,692,000
Percent of Labor Force : 4.0%
Not in the labor force : 69,994,000

Let's compare that to February 2010:

Civilian noninstitutional population : 235,998,000
Civilian labor force : 153,512,000
Civilian labor force particpation rate : 64.8%
Number of employed : 138,641,000
Percent of Population : 58.5%
Number of unemployed : 14,871,000
Percent of Labor Force : 9.7%
Not in the labor force : 83,487,000

Holy denominator of doom oh ye bullisht throngs!

13 million people, over the last decade, have neither jobs nor any desire to look for one?

That's greater than the total increase of the civilian labor force!

But the boomer generation(and by the way what are we going to call the next one? the 'buster' generation?), those 74 million from 1946 to 1964, they ain't retiring en masse yet...

Oh golly I guess they are all going back to school to learn new skills for the global economy. But wait... according to the 2000 census there were 76.6 million students enrolled in schools from kindergarten on. Out of this total 17.5 million were enrolled in post-secondary (college including graduate school.) Assuming the 2010 census doesn't report that an epidemic of forty and fifty somethings are joining the beer-bonging caste that is today's 'enseignement supérieur' in an entirely stealth fashion, 'going to school' seems to be a specious explanation...

Where did you go Joe? A nation bids its unemployed adieu in this Great Depression.

The Northern Trust stated on January 10,2006 in its' report, Noteworthy Aspects About the Participation Rate (2000-2005),'there is no conclusive research explaining the reasons for the downward trend.'...

Or as Alice said when stuck in the rabbit's room 'there's no room for me to grow up anymore here.'


Anonymous said...

You should go Hollywood with this stuff Money ...

Anonymous Monetarist said...

No thanks!

Although, must admit, would be fun to sneak up on Sarah in some Oscar gift suite and ask her , 'How's that dopey, derangey, think working out?'

B9K9 said...


BTW, you rock, extensively I might add, but what's the point? How many observers does it take to correctly determine that yes, the Titantic is going down?

One can cut the numbers any which way they choose, and in your particular case, add some distinctive value, yet the same conclusions are reached time & time again.

So now what?

Anonymous Monetarist said...

You raise both a valid point and question.

For my part, this blog is a scrapbook, as well as a platform to develop my own understanding of 'things'.

Beyond that I have several young children... with 'understanding' also comes a realization as to not only how treacherous our current path is but also the determination to see that they will be able to not just survive but prosper.

Beyond that, well, sharing is caring.

Those that fail to stand for something will fall for anything.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Anonymous said...

agreed you do rock, MONEY! love your stuff.

'How's that dopey, derangey, thing working out?'

wonder if this bear photo doesn't fit you to a T. mellow t†t†

scrapbook, i'm thinkin virtual collage.

Anonymous said...

B9K9 uhmmm. seen that avatar over @ ZH?
velobabe, here.

forex-cat said...

nice analysis!!
Thank you.

...(I'd be pleased if you exchange reciprocal link with me.)
forex chart analysis and a cat

Anonymous Monetarist said...

Thanks forex-cat,

Will check in with you from time to time.

Congrats for putting yourself 'out there.'

Anonymous Monetarist said...


Are you a cyclist?

Intend to take that up seriously some day when running blows my knees out :)

Anonymous Monetarist said...


The scrapbook idea came from Marc Faber.

He stated awhile back that one should create a filing system to organize info, for he found from personal experience that without a 'system', building a knowledge base was extremely challenging because it was so easy to forget what you had read.

That was one of the catalysts for this blog. A scrapbook where the google function is the 'gofer'.

Mr. Faber also suggested a good bottle for wine when reviewing complex material...

Alas, am limited to that approach because of concern in hearing, 'Mommy, why is Daddy slurring?'

Anonymous said...

money, let me put it this way: when you do blow out your knees (not if but when) the rehab will be on a bike. i did the ironman ONCE and that was enough. cycling = reborner's. i always have two wheels between my legs. ok your going to love my line of work. check it out. maybe i can send you a sample from colorado.

Anonymous Monetarist said...

Thanks for the link.

Do love your line of work and envy the beautiful views that no doubt you have come accustomed to.

Concerning injury, it is the top of the list of my personal paranoias, knock on pavement have never suffered one.

One poignant observation on a run that I just came back from...

The viaduct under the Kennedy Expressway on Damen was packed with homeless. Have never seen it so bad in all my years here in the Great City. A sad non-Bubblevision viewpoint on this V-shaped, scratch that, nascent, scratch that, oxymoronic jobless recovery.