I think you could look at it both ways and get a good grasp of the situation. A lot of the jobs that aren't being filled are the "bad" ones (low paying and physically taxing). I don't think companies are having a hard time hiring people to sit behind a desk, but I could be wrong. So that said, I suspect physical impairments are limiting the jobs some people apply for, and a lot of people can't pass drug tests.moda0306 wrote: ↑Thu May 09, 2019 11:41 amThis is one way to read the data... which is an interesting flip from the usual read, which is that a reduced workforce participation rate is a sign of a sluggish economy offering bad jobs. And people just quit looking out of despair.Xan wrote: ↑Wed May 08, 2019 3:21 pmSure it includes you. It's "people who don't have a job". It includes children, retirees, housewives, you name it.
As long as unemployment (the number of people who want to work but aren't) is low, I think the more people who don't have a job, the better. Doesn't that mean we're prosperous?
I mean, hasn't the prime working age male employment situation been getting some press recently? How many children and non-working wives are there, really? Marriage is down, fertility is down.
Then again, the fast food places around me seem to be staffed mostly by teenagers outside of school hours. I think it's a good sign that adults aren't taking up those jobs and the teenagers can do them.
Something (somewhat related) that gets me is how many people refuse to leave high COL locations when they aren't earning the high incomes that would justify it. Like, if you are working in one of those bad jobs, especially because you've reached your Peter Principle ceiling, you will vastly improve your life by going and doing it in a low COL location. I'm thinking people like warehouse workers, retail workers, fast food, those kinds of things. You could live a fairly middle class lifestyle working at a fast food joint for 30 hours a week in a large portion of the country.Either way, I'm more about looking at real median wages. This is the foundation that keeps Americans able to save and withstand periods of high unemployment without it destroying their lives. I'd also like to look at the average American's balance sheet, but it's hard to glean out of all the different measures that try to include/dis-include various items.
But I absolutely agree with you that we should have a more flexible view of what consists of a "good economy." I think it would be splendid if as wages grew we worked fewer hours and sacrificed growth for personal freedom and family time. Of course, you would need median wages to rise for that to happen, and for all that our economic growth has given us, real wage gains have been sh!t.