Friday, August 02, 2013

Let's Play "Spot the Recovery"!

The White House says yesterday's unemployment "report provides further confirmation that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression."

Those outlets dutifully churning out "news" reports based upon the White House press release included Bloomberg, State-Run News/PBS (now reduced to blaming Baby Boomer retirements for the malaise), Newsweek, and US News & World Report, to name but a few. But the real picture is decidedly grim.

...this chart plots the employment-population ratio for the same period — that is, the percentage of Americans above age 16 who work for a living:

...You can see the downturn, of course, but where’s the recovery? We’re not “restoring” or “recovering” anything here. We have a working age population that’s growing too fast to employ at the levels we enjoyed for the last two decades.

The charts reflect an ever-greater number of people who would work in better times, but who are instead collecting disability or other government benefits, living in their parents’ basements, or borrowing money to earn extra, unnecessary degrees in hopes that the job market will have improved by the time they get out of grad school.

One of these days, perhaps vintage media could honestly answer the question: why is this recovery the worst since the Great Depression?

Hat tip: BadBlue Real-Time News.

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