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Old 05-13-2014, 07:36 AM  
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About That Labor Force Participation Rate . . .

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2014/05...cipation-rate/
@TBPInvictus here:

On April 17, 2012, North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx stood before her colleagues in the House of Representatives and said (emphasis mine):
Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, the March employment report continues to show us that the Federal Government has not been helping to create jobs in our economy. A Wall Street Journal editorial from April 9 highlighted a few examples from the report. Here is one extremely startling statistic:

The labor force participation rate–or the share of civilian population that is working–dropped again to 63.8 percent. In March, 2009, a month after the $800 billion stimulus passed Congress, the labor participation rate was nearly 2 percentage points higher, at 65.6 percent.
Interestingly, the Congressional Record has seen a hefty spike in mentions of the labor force participation rate over the past few years, and I can assure you they’re almost exclusively by Republicans and unflattering toward “President Obama’s America.”



And there’s this:

Here’s a search of “labor force participation rate” at foxnews.com (as of around 7:45 PM ET on May 8):


It’s good to know that Fox has been all over this important issue. The LFPR has been on the decline since about 2000, and I’m sure they’ve covered it very closely since it peaked. Let’s check their coverage during the Bush administration:


Hmmm. Only one story until President Blackenstein took office. Very curious.

More curious still is why any of this is so “extremely startling” to anyone. I have found research back to 2002 – and I’m sure I could find even earlier – that foretold of a decline in our LFPR due to our demographics which, unlike variables such as policy making, are carved in stone. Yes, to be sure, the decline was exacerbated by the severity of the recession, but this story was essentially written between 1946 and 1964 when the Boomers made their collective entrance.

For example, here is a chart from a 2006 piece The Recent Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Implications for Potential Labor Supply:


So, eight years after that paper was written, how have things played out? Let’s have a look:


There’s also this, from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, from February of this year, which tells much the same story:


St. Louis Fed President James Bullard gave an excellent speech on the LFPR in February:
I have reviewed some of the available literature on this topic. My view of the literature is that carefully constructed empirical models of the hump-shaped trend in the U.S. labor force participation rate do a good job of explaining the data. These models suggest that the current participation rate is not far from the predicted trend. This means, in turn, that the cyclical component in labor force participation is likely to be relatively small.
Translation: It’s mostly demographics with a touch of recession.

Said BLS in its December 2013 forecasts (emphasis mine):
Of note is the fact that the drop in the labor force participation rate was just 0.6 percentage point during the 2007–2009 economic downturn whereas, between 2009 and 2012, since the end of the recession, the rate declined by another 1.7 percentage points. A major factor responsible for this downward pressure on the overall labor force participation rate is the aging of the baby-boom generation.
Various regional Fed banks have weighed in on the LFPR, all striking a similar tone. Bill McBride over at Calculated Risk has written about LFPR many, many times, most recently here.

Little of what is happening with the LFPR is newsworthy. Yes, some of it is residual weakness from the recession, but our demographics are what our demographics are. Sadly, those who are focused on deceitfully misrepresenting what is going on with the LFPR will probably have ammunition for years to come. That will not change the fact that they’re being deliberately misleading.

Sincere thanks to those authors and researchers who took the time to discuss their work on the LFPR with me. Your time and insight were very valuable and much appreciated.

Further reading (and for the purpose of memorializing these links):
Age-Adjusted Labor Force Participation Rates 1960-2045
Employment outlook: 2012–22
Labor force projections to 2022: the labor force participation rate continues to fall
Visual Essay: Long-term labor force
Projections of the labor force to 2050: a visual essay
Employment outlook: 2010–20
Labor force projections to 2020: a more slowly growing workforce
Labor force participation:
A behavioral model for projecting the labor force participation rate
Employment outlook: 2008–18
Labor force projections to 2018: older workers staying more active
Employment outlook: 2006–16
Labor force projections to 2016: more workers in their golden years
Long-term labor force
A new look at long-term labor force projections to 2050
Employment outlook: 2004–14
Labor force projections to 2014: Retiring boomers
Employment outlook: 2002–12
Labor force projections to 2012: the graying of the U.S. workforce
Consumer Spending
Consumer spending: an engine for U.S. job growth
Long-term labor force
A century of change: the U.S. labor force, 1950–2050
Employment outlook: 2000–10
Labor force projections to 2010: steady growth and changing composition

In addition the following are some interesting articles from different researchers on the labor force participation rate.

-Kansas City Fed http://www.kc.frb.org/publicat/econr...nZandweghe.pdf
-Richmond Fed http://www.richmondfed.org/publicati...over_story.pdf
-Journal of Economic Perspectives http://www.class.uh.edu/faculty/cjuh...s/30033665.pdf
-St. Louis Fed http://www.stlouisfed.org/publicatio...icles/?id=2419
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:10 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
The Democratic Party reads detailed internal polling data and they see the public is not buying their story about jobs (and wanting answers why their projections circa Porkulus didn't materialize). The liberal media reads public polling data and sees the same. They're really left with only two options:

1. Blame Bush
2. Explain away the data
So, it is inappropriate to point out the trend for the past 10 years and to straighten out your bullshit assertions?
Still waiting to hear why retirement is irrelevant...
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:13 PM   #32
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So, it is inappropriate to point out the trend for the past 10 years and to straighten out your bullshit assertions?
Still waiting to hear why retirement is irrelevant...
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:24 PM   #33
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Still waiting...
You honestly don't see the problem with that article and how he reaches his conclusion?
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:25 PM   #34
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I fly a lot for work currently and boy there are a lot of 60+ pilots out there.
Hey ****, the malls are full.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:27 PM   #35
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companies found out they could do more with less in regards to employees during the recession. I know that we didn't replace a lot of people in our corporate office, and frankly they aren't missed from a productivity stand point.
This. Companies cut their marginal producers and found they didn't need them to generate large profit margins. There is little incentive to bring on new workers. The recapture of the jobs lost in 2008 has mostly been re-absorption of formerly laid off workers, but this hasn't even kept up with population growth.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:29 PM   #36
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This is great...read the comments after your story. Someone really takes it to the writer about how his whole article is based on bullshit math. The writer argues at first, but then has to admit defeat (you could learn a lesson there)...

Robert Romano 3 months ago
Thanks, Justin. I ran the same figures over the weekend: http://getliberty.org/wp-content/upl...n2003-2013.csv

I see positively I did it backwards. I’m willing to admit I made a mistake. A big one. I discovered that the previous work I did on contributions to labor participation only told us half the story. It told us everything about who was participating and how old they were, including that older Americans are certainly working longer.What it left out who was not participating, and how old they were. This is what I should have calculated, because it would have captured how shifts in population were affecting labor participation numbers.When I run the numbers like this, the contributions to non-participation are as followed. 65+ added 1.04 percent to non-participation. 55-64 added .95 percent to non-participation. 25-54 added .13 percent to non-participation. And 16-24 added .87 percent to non-participation.So even though older Americans are working longer, because they make up such a larger percent of the population, it is driving down the overall labor participation rate. It would drive it down even further if they weren’t working longer. If 16-54 were working at the same rate, the overall rate would be 1 percent higher, not 3 percent. So, it appears I do owe Forbes and readers here an apology.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:35 PM   #37
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There are tons of 60+ age workers everywhere in every field and in fact, contrary to Native's nonsense, their labor participation rates have increased.


Since 2003, those 65 years and older have seen their labor force participation rate rise from 13.99 percent to 18.7 percent. Those aged 55-64 saw their rate rise from 62.44 percent to 64.36 percent, a recent Americans for Limited Government (ALG) study of Bureau data from 2003-2013 shows.

Meanwhile, participation by those aged 16-24 dropped from 61.56 percent in 2003 to 55.05 percent in 2013.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin...xodus-problem/
I'm no statistician, but the whole idea is that the Baby Boomers - of which there are a lot - are retiring, causing the overall workplace participation rate to drop, right? Doesn't it stand to reason that if there are more old people "now" then there were "then", even if the percentage drops a bit within their ranks, their larger numbers will cause the overall participation rate to drop?

Put it another way. Pretend there is a town which has 1,000 people in its workforce; 100 of them are over 65, and 10% of those retirement age people retire each year. That means 1% of the workforce retires every year - ten out of 1,000. A generation later, there are still 1,000 people working in that town, only now 200 of those people are over 65. However, now only 8% of them retire every year. Even so, that means that there are now 16 people out of the town's 1,000 that are retiring, or 1.6% of the total workforce. The over-65 retirement age went down, but the overall rate went up.

Obviously, those are all made-up numbers, but to illustrate a statistical point. The post-War boom is retiring, and cold, hard, unfeeling, non-partisan, no-bullshit mathematics tells you that that is going to affect the amount of people who are still working.

Right?
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:46 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
This is great...read the comments after your story. Someone really takes it to the writer about how his whole article is based on bullshit math. The writer argues at first, but then has to admit defeat (you could learn a lesson there)...

Robert Romano 3 months ago
Thanks, Justin. I ran the same figures over the weekend: http://getliberty.org/wp-content/upl...n2003-2013.csv

I see positively I did it backwards. I’m willing to admit I made a mistake. A big one. I discovered that the previous work I did on contributions to labor participation only told us half the story. It told us everything about who was participating and how old they were, including that older Americans are certainly working longer.What it left out who was not participating, and how old they were. This is what I should have calculated, because it would have captured how shifts in population were affecting labor participation numbers.When I run the numbers like this, the contributions to non-participation are as followed. 65+ added 1.04 percent to non-participation. 55-64 added .95 percent to non-participation. 25-54 added .13 percent to non-participation. And 16-24 added .87 percent to non-participation.So even though older Americans are working longer, because they make up such a larger percent of the population, it is driving down the overall labor participation rate. It would drive it down even further if they weren’t working longer. If 16-54 were working at the same rate, the overall rate would be 1 percent higher, not 3 percent. So, it appears I do owe Forbes and readers here an apology.
Whatever, I can still point to dozens of studies that say what I think I want them to say /BigoteyedPrisonBitch

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Old 05-13-2014, 01:47 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
The Democratic Party reads detailed internal polling data and they see the public is not buying their story about jobs (and wanting answers why their projections circa Porkulus didn't materialize). The liberal media reads public polling data and sees the same. They're really left with only two options:

1. Blame Bush
2. Explain away the data
What's ****ing hilarious is that you think you understand the data when you've demonstrated repeatedly that you don't.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:53 PM   #40
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#1 Let's be clear here and point out that Ritholtz is a moron so I didn't read the link because well he is a blustering moron and not worth the time.

#2 The Labor Force Participation rate is dropping because of demographics, that is clear but it doesn't explain away the numbers completely. I'd guess that it accounts for about 50% of the current situation. The other 50% is caused by our economy being in the crapper.

We can argue the weight of each factor but it's disingenuous to try to blame the situation solely on one or the other.
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:15 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
This is great...read the comments after your story. Someone really takes it to the writer about how his whole article is based on bullshit math. The writer argues at first, but then has to admit defeat (you could learn a lesson there)...

Robert Romano 3 months ago
Thanks, Justin. I ran the same figures over the weekend: http://getliberty.org/wp-content/upl...n2003-2013.csv

I see positively I did it backwards. I’m willing to admit I made a mistake. A big one. I discovered that the previous work I did on contributions to labor participation only told us half the story. It told us everything about who was participating and how old they were, including that older Americans are certainly working longer.What it left out who was not participating, and how old they were. This is what I should have calculated, because it would have captured how shifts in population were affecting labor participation numbers.When I run the numbers like this, the contributions to non-participation are as followed. 65+ added 1.04 percent to non-participation. 55-64 added .95 percent to non-participation. 25-54 added .13 percent to non-participation. And 16-24 added .87 percent to non-participation.So even though older Americans are working longer, because they make up such a larger percent of the population, it is driving down the overall labor participation rate. It would drive it down even further if they weren’t working longer. If 16-54 were working at the same rate, the overall rate would be 1 percent higher, not 3 percent. So, it appears I do owe Forbes and readers here an apology.

This one's simple: his correction is incorrect. I just pulled up that Excel file you posted. It states the 16-54 population was essentially the same at +109,000, but the labor force crashed an incredible (-4,271,000).


55+ population increased +11,782,000 and labor force increased +5,374,000. In fact, it was the older cohort's increased participation that SAVED the labor force contribution to the denominator by another 0.25%.



Thanks for playing, doofus.
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:19 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
#1 Let's be clear here and point out that Ritholtz is a moron so I didn't read the link because well he is a blustering moron and not worth the time.

#2 The Labor Force Participation rate is dropping because of demographics, that is clear but it doesn't explain away the numbers completely. I'd guess that it accounts for about 50% of the current situation. The other 50% is caused by our economy being in the crapper.

We can argue the weight of each factor but it's disingenuous to try to blame the situation solely on one or the other.


Is he a moron because he has blasted your "uncertainty" nonsense? Or is he a moron because he was on top of the financial crisis from the beginning? Or is he a moron because he was going to cash when the market crashed? Or is he a moron because he went fully invested at the bottom of the market (FTR, his call wasn't that it was the bottom but that there was so much value there, that even if the market continued to slide, you would be made whole and then some very soon.)? I guess he's a moron because he loves to destroy people you love to hold out as experts. Is that it?

His record is very solid (and he actually manages money). He wrote a great book on the bail outs.

Oh, I get it now. He uses data based analysis to come to conclusions instead of just pulling shit like "50% due to retirement and 50% due to recession" out of your ass, so that's what makes him a moron. BTW, the op-ed writer that PB cited clarified the impacts of the different age groups on the participation rate and it's very clear that the majority of the decline in labor force participation rate is due to retirement. Don't let any of that get in your way though.
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:21 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
#1 Let's be clear here and point out that Ritholtz is a moron so I didn't read the link because well he is a blustering moron and not worth the time.

#2 The Labor Force Participation rate is dropping because of demographics, that is clear but it doesn't explain away the numbers completely. I'd guess that it accounts for about 50% of the current situation. The other 50% is caused by our economy being in the crapper.

We can argue the weight of each factor but it's disingenuous to try to blame the situation solely on one or the other.
Oh, and Ritholtz didn't write the OP. A contributor who goes by the pen name Invictus did.

If you had read it, you would have seen that Invictus said the decline is due to both retirement and the recession.
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:24 PM   #44
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#2 The Labor Force Participation rate is dropping because of demographics, that is clear

Explain. 16-54 population was stable but lost (-4.2m) from it's labor force since the crash. Their participation rate plunged from 77.5% to 74.8%. There is no demographic explanation for that whatsoever unless you've got something interesting I haven't thought of.
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:30 PM   #45
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Explain. 16-54 population was stable but lost (-4.2m) from it's labor force since the crash. Their participation rate plunged from 77.5% to 74.8%. There is no demographic explanation for that whatsoever unless you've got something interesting I haven't thought of.
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
I see positively I did it backwards. I’m willing to admit I made a mistake. A big one. I discovered that the previous work I did on contributions to labor participation only told us half the story. It told us everything about who was participating and how old they were, including that older Americans are certainly working longer.What it left out who was not participating, and how old they were. This is what I should have calculated, because it would have captured how shifts in population were affecting labor participation numbers.When I run the numbers like this, the contributions to non-participation are as followed. 65+ added 1.04 percent to non-participation. 55-64 added .95 percent to non-participation. 25-54 added .13 percent to non-participation. And 16-24 added .87 percent to non-participation.So even though older Americans are working longer, because they make up such a larger percent of the population, it is driving down the overall labor participation rate. It would drive it down even further if they weren’t working longer. If 16-54 were working at the same rate, the overall rate would be 1 percent higher, not 3 percent. So, it appears I do owe Forbes and readers here an apology.
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The diameter of your knowledge is the circumference of your actions. Ras Kass

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Originally Posted by Iowanian View Post
I'm just a little pussy from Iowa
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