Sunday, December 10, 2017

Full Employment Fantasy

Here come the jesters
One, two, three
It's all part of my fantasy
--Bad Company

Graphic-rich piece comparing claims of 'full employment' to reality. One informative graph is this simple time series comparison of headline unemployment to the labor force participation rate.

The difference in labor force participation rate at this peak in 'full employment' vs previous peaks amounts to about 16 million fewer people working this time around.

Meanwhile, wages are nowhere near levels associate with previous 'full employment' peaks.

The obvious question is why isn't less supply/more demand for labor find wages rising here?

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