Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit, figures that fully half of the decline in the participation rate since the end of 2007 is due to the aging of the population and, thus, should have been anticipated.
...The focus of economics coverage should really be on the weakness in the jobs data that isn’t due to demographic shifts, and the data clearly show that the 16-54 population is ground zero for the jobs crisis.
Job holders among this group have declined by 4.9 percentage points since the recession began — nearly twice the 2.6-percentage-point drop in their labor force participation... Based on a normalized rate of participation, Bandholz estimates the unemployment rate would have been 10.1% in April, not 8.1%.
...In all, the share of job holders among those 16-54, 68.5% in April (up from a cycle low of 67.9%), remains 8 percentage points below the level that prevailed in 1999-2000. This is the worst level since the depth of the 1983 recession, but that episode was relatively brief.
Because younger workers have borne the brunt of the jobs recession, its economic effects — due to long-term unemployment, underemployment and stretched household balance sheets — may be more likely to linger.
You say excessive regulation, centralized micromanagement of the economy, and unceasing attacks on America's