08/4/18

Employment Structural Change

Big Red Car here on a Saturday morning getting ready to go out for blueberry pancakes at the Counter Cafe.

I have always been interested in delving beneath the covers of employment in the United States. The average person focuses on BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) U-3 – the widely reported level of unemployment which is currently at 3.9%, but that paints a very shallow picture of the employment status of the economy. Perhaps, an overly optimistic one.

Let me give you the bottom line first – the US economy is undergoing a huge structural change as the Baby Boomers begin to retire and younger folk have a different attitude toward employment.

I have often observed that the prospect of long term, stable employment is a thing of the past and the “gig” economy is here to stay. Talking to you, Mr. Internet.

My favorite source of useful data and analysis is dshort.com which is run by Doug Short, PhD, under the banner of Advisor Perspectives. You should be reading this guy’s stuff. The best in the business.

Continue reading

06/7/18

Employment

Employment, Big Red Car – what about employment?

Dear reader, US employment and unemployment are both headed in the right direction, but there is a concern we need to discuss.

We need to discuss the Labor Force Participation Rate. Do you know what that means?

The LFPR is the percentage of folks aged 16-64 (the labor force) who are currently employed or seeking work.

Here is a picture of what that looks like today with our 3.8% unemployment rate. Notice, in particular, the comparison between our current LFPR/unemployment rate and the Jan-Apr 2000 all time high LFPR. Therein lies the story.

LFPR

Credit Doug Short over at Advisor Perspectives for this great chart. Read his stuff at dshort.com.

Continue reading

08/28/15

Let’s Cut the Crap — Labor Force Participation Rate

Big Red Car here on a wonderful Friday in the ATX, y’all. It is going to be a nice warm, sunny day.

Only a few days until Longhorn football. Going to be playing the Fighting Irish under the eyes of Touchdown Jesus in South Bend.

“So, Big Red Car, what is up with the labor force participation rate?” asks a reader. Continue reading

01/27/15

Let’s Cut the Crap — Unemployment

Big Red Car here on a glorious ATX day — sun is up and bright and going to be 75F today. No snow in the forecast. Hahaha — get it, New York? [The Big Red Car can be downright cruel at times. Shut up, Big Red Car.]

So, the Big Red Car is perplexed at how ignorant people can be as to how unemployment figures are derived. We focus on some fiction called “U-3” from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So, today we cut the crap on how unemployment information is manipulated — YES, MANIPULATED. Continue reading

02/6/13

Cut the crap on UNEMPLOYMENT already

Big Red Car here.  The Boss has been driving me hard because of the perfectly lovely weather here in the ATX.  I love it.  Wind whipping around and growling along.

So The Boss is talking with his friend about unemployment.  Suddenly, The Boss says:  “Cut the crap, unemployment is still a huge problem.  Let me show you.”

Continue reading

01/6/13

The Implications of Eliminating Workers from the Work Force when Calculating Unemployment

Big Red Car here.  So The Boss was discussing unemployment with a friend enroute to getting a burger at MightyFine.  If you have not been there, then you owe it to yourself to go introduce yourself.  Great burgers, great crinkle cut fries and fabulous lemonade.  Right up the road in North Austin.

Continue reading